Japan's PM to watch closely strength of yen: Jiji

Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Saturday he would monitor closely the strength of the yen and hinted at holding talks with the central bank chief amid the recent rise of the unit, Jiji Press reported.

"I want to continue to closely watch" currency market moves, Kan was quoted by Jiji as telling reporters after the dollar hit a 15-year low of 84.73 yen before easing earlier this week.

The greenback rose back above the 86-yen level on news that Japanese officials showed concern over the unit's strength, which poses a threat to the export sector driving Japan's fragile economic rebound.

A clerk counts bank notes at a lottery booth in Tokyo.

Kan also voiced hope of holding a meeting with Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa on foreign exchange rates, saying: "I have not decided when and how, but want to have necessary forms of communications."

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has earlier said he wanted the Bank of Japan to "cooperate" more with the government to tackle the rising yen, in a sign of fresh pressure on the body from officials.

For every one-yen rise in the currency's value against the dollar, companies can lose tens of billions of yen earned overseas when repatriated, threatening a sector that Japan depends on to offset its weak domestic picture.

source AFP

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