Top government and finance chiefs scrambled Wednesday to defend themselves against accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that Japan is manipulating currency markets to guide its currency lower.

In Washington on Tuesday, Trump lambasted Tokyo and Beijing for devaluing their currencies, a clear signal of his belief that the two countries are currency manipulators.

"You look at what China's doing, you look at what Japan has done over the years. They play the money market, they play the devaluation market and we sit there like a bunch of dummies," he said in a meeting with pharmaceutical company executives.