The Japanese yen has been in free fall this year, losing 10% of its value and hitting 20-year lows.

There are several causes for the plunge and it isn’t clear that Japan’s monetary authorities can do anything about it. Authorities have maintained their loose money policy, prompting questions about how eager they are to stop the decline. A weak yen has served Japan well; an unstable currency does not.

The yen’s deterioration has made it the worst-performing major currency this year in dollar terms. The Japanese currency surpassed ¥129 to the dollar this week before falling back to ¥128. A few weeks ago, there were fears that it would challenge the ¥130 mark; foreign exchange analysts now believe that ¥135 to the dollar could be breached in the near future.