The yen's slide back toward the key psychological ¥140 per-dollar level is reigniting chatter on the likelihood officials will intervene to support the currency.

With traders refocusing on the gap between interest rates in Japan and those in the rest of the world, amid a chorus line of hawkish Federal Reserve commentary, the yen has tumbled close to 4% this month and traded around the ¥138.50 level Tuesday. That’s a hair’s breadth from a fresh 24-year low and the ¥140 level some market watchers have flagged as key for policymakers.

"There will likely be some sort of verbal intervention as ¥140 approaches,” said David Lu, director at NBC Financial Markets Asia in Hong Kong. "But an actual intervention is likely to be ineffective at this point, where the dollar is rising broadly on U.S. monetary policy prospects while there is no support for the yen from the Bank of Japan.”