Friday, January 8, 2010

Japan's New Finance Minister, Kan, Tones Down His Act...

But, I can tell already, this guy is going to be fun.

WSJ reports:
The day after roiling currency markets, Japan's new finance minister toned down his call for a weaker yen after the prime minister rebuked him, saying the government should refrain from such remarks.

"In general, markets should determine" exchange rates, Naoto Kan told a news conference Friday. This was a turnaround from Thursday, when he took office and helped push down the yen by saying he wanted the Japanese currency "a bit weaker" and that many Japanese companies would prefer the dollar to rise to about 95 yen.

Mr. Kan changed tack after Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama sought to restrain his new minister, telling reporters Friday morning: "When it comes to foreign exchange, stability is desirable and rapid moves are undesirable. The government basically shouldn't comment on foreign exchange."...

Mr. Kan, who is also deputy prime minister, didn't back down altogether Friday, saying: "While the prime minister's statement is right in principle, I--as minister directly in charge of such matters--must give sufficient consideration to expectations and hopes held by the (Japanese) business sector" on the yen exchange rate.

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