• Kyodo

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Japan will explain the downside risks Japan’s economy faces from the rising yen at the next meeting of the Group of Seven industrialized economies, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said Friday.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. will gather next month in Tokyo on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

“The yen has traded at historically high levels,” said Azumi, who will be leaving his post, probably next week, when the Democratic Party of Japan revamps its leadership. His successor will “explain about what downside risks Japan faces and how a stronger yen has demerits” to the G-7 meeting.

Many of the G-7 members opposed Japan’s unilateral market interventions to stem the yen’s sharp ascent against the dollar and other currencies nearly a year ago. Since then, the government has refrained from stepping into the foreign exchange market.

Azumi has been named to assume the post of acting secretary general in Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s DPJ.

On recent government data showing weaker production and exports, Azumi said the slowdown in overseas economies, particularly Europe, has affected Japan’s economic numbers.

Asked about a possible extra budget to underpin the Japanese economy, he said how to address the current environment through fiscal measures will be a “crucial issue for the new Cabinet.”

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