Japan intervenes in foreign exchange market to stem yen falls



The Korea Times Co.



TOKYO (Reuters) — Japan intervened in the currency market on Thursday for the first time since 1998 to shore up the battered yen, in the wake of the central bank’s decision to maintain ultra-low interest rates that have been driving down the currency. “We have taken decisive action (in the exchange market),” vice finance minister for international affairs Masato Kanda told reporters, responding in the affirmative when asked if that meant intervention. The dollar extended its fall against the yen and was last down over 2% at 141.15 yen after confirmation of the intervention. It had earlier traded more than 1% higher against the Japanese currency which plumbed fresh 24-year lows. The move came hours after the BOJ’s decision to maintain super-low interest rates to support economic growth, bucking a global tide of monetary tightening by central banks fighting to rein in soaring inflation. “There’s absolutely no change to our stance of maintaining easy monetary policy for the time being. We won’t be raising interest rates for some time,” BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told a briefing after the policy decision.