Japan ready to take ‘decisive’ steps on yen, says finance minister

Japan Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki

Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki stands up as he finishes his news conference after Japan intervened in the currency market for the first time since 1998 to shore up the battered yen in Tokyo, Japan September 22, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO  -Japan stands ready to take “decisive” steps in the foreign exchange market if excessive yen moves persist, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Monday, in a fresh warning against investors selling off the Japanese currency.

“It’s important for currencies to move stably, as sharp and one-sided moves are undesirable,” Suzuki said in a post-cabinet meeting news conference, referring to the yen’s recent sharp declines.

“We intervened the other day and we have said we would take decisive steps as needed. There’s no doubt this has guarded against speculative moves,” he said.

Japan spent up to 2.8 trillion yen ($19.34 billion) intervening in the foreign exchange market last month to prop up the yen when it fell to a 24-year low near 146 yen. It was last trading at 144.75 to the dollar.

Asked about the large size of intervention, Suzuki said the amount was decided by taking comprehensive factors into account.

($1 = 144.7700 yen)