© Reuters. Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs, Masato Kanda, poses for a photograph during an interview with Reuters at the Finance Ministry in Tokyo, Japan January 31, 2022. Picture taken January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top financial diplomat Masato Kanda said on Tuesday that authorities were in close contact with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other overseas authorities almost everyday on currencies and broader financial markets.
Kanda was speaking to reporters as market players brace for possible Japanese intervention in the foreign exchange market to stem yen weakness.
“We are exchanging views with and communicating with authorities in other countries including our ally the United States not only on currencies, financial markets but various other issues,” Kanda told reporters.
The yen fell to near eight-month lows against the dollar last week prompting Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki to warn against excessive yen selling after it weakened past the 145 to the dollar threshold. Some market players see 150 yen as a new threshold.
Japan bought yen in September, its first foray in the market to boost its currency since 1998, after a Bank of Japan (BOJ) decision to maintain ultra-loose policy drove the yen as low as 145 per dollar.
The U.S. Treasury said after last year’s intervention that such actions should be rare.
The United States last month removed Japan from its currency monitoring list in its twice-yearly currency report. Some market players say the move may make it easier for Tokyo to intervene in the market.