[TOKYO] Japan is determined to prevent recent "one-sided" yen rises from accelerating, Finance Minister Taro Aso said, reiterating his resolve to intervene in the currency market if yen gains last long enough to hurt a fragile economic recovery.
Mr Aso told parliament on Tuesday that Japan has not and has no plans to manipulate currency moves on a long-term basis to give its exports a competitive trade advantage.
But he added that it was a shared understanding among G7 and G20 nations that excessive currency volatility was undesirable. "Japan obviously will intervene if one-sided moves persist," he said, stressing Tokyo's readiness to step into the market to stem any excessive yen rises.
The yen's appreciation before and during Japan's Golden Week holidays last week has been "quite rapid," Mr Aso said. "We're determined to prevent such one-sided moves from accelerating." Mr Aso has escalated his warning to markets against pushing up the yen too much, explicitly using the word "intervention" for two straight days instead of the usual, more indirect language that Tokyo will "act appropriately" against excessive volatility.
The jawboning pushed the dollar up nearly 1 per cent to around 108 yen on Tuesday, off the 18-month low of 105.55 yen hit last week.
Japanese authorities have stayed away from the markets since they last intervened in 2011. At the time, Tokyo got G7 consent to intervene to stem a yen spike driven by speculation that a devastating earthquake would force Japanese insurers to repatriate overseas funds to pay for damage claims.