Some comments made by Finance Minister Taro Aso last month on the benefits of a weaker yen are missing in an outline of his remarks posted on his ministry’s website.
“Low yields, the weak yen and cheap oil are basically, for countries like Japan that import natural resources — the fall in oil prices has a very big impact, and low yields have a big impact on business, and for exports the weak yen is good — so I think they’re basically good,” Aso said at a media briefing on Jan. 20, according to transcript of his comments made that day by Bloomberg News.
The outline of the same remarks that was posted on the ministry’s website said: “Low yields and cheap oil are basically, for countries like Japan that import natural resources — the fall in oil prices has a very big impact, and low yields have a big impact on business — so I think they’re basically good.”
Officials sometimes revise and summarize what the minister says to ensure his words are accurate and in context before putting them on the website, according to the ministry’s public relations office. Officials declined to comment publicly on the reason for the removal of the yen references.
The yen has dropped about 29 percent since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to office, advocating a reflationist agenda. While many large exporters have profited from the lower exchange rate, it has increased costs for imports and consumers.
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