Japan finance minister: “No discussion” of exchange rates at G7, Kyodo reports

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) – There was “no discussion” about exchange rates at a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers and central bank chiefs, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Sunday, according to Kyodo News.

Suzuki was speaking after a meeting in India of the G7 – the U.S., Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.

The yen weakened as far as 145 per dollar at the end of last month, the level that last fall spurred the finance ministry to intervene in the market to support the currency. However the yen has rebounded strongly this month to around 138 per dollar.

A weak yen can bolster Japanese exporters’ profits but it boosts the price of energy and other imports in yen for businesses and consumers.

Speaking at a press conference, Suzuki also confirmed Japan’s “unwavering support” for Ukraine, Kyodo reported.

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Kazuo Ueda said there was a view that “there is strong uncertainty in the global economy,” the Japanese news agency reported.

Ueda has cited uncertainty about the global economy as a reason for keeping ultra-easy monetary policy in place in Japan, even as inflation runs above the central bank’s target.

The BOJ’s easy monetary policy has been a key driver of the yen’s weakness, as it contrasts with tightening in the United States, Europe and most other developed economies.

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Jamie Freed and William Mallard)