Japan to escape criticism

Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 00:00

Japan will escape censure from the G20 meeting in Moscow this weekend despite widespread unease at Tokyo’s aggressive intervention into currency markets to drive down the value of the yen.

Pressure from the International Monetary Fund and several prominent G20 members has kept any reference to Japan’s attempts to depress the yen out of a communique to be released today .

IMF boss Christine Lagarde dismissed the possibility of an international currency conflict, saying “the current talk of currency war is overblown”. She said an assessment by the IMF “does not indicate any major deviation from the fair value of major currencies”.

Japan’s incoming government has spoken openly of the need to drive down the yen to help firms such as Panasonic and Sony export more cheaply. Some European countries have accused Tokyo of signalling its intention to buy billions of euro to drive up the value of the euro zone currency.

The US treasury undersecretary warned the world’s biggest economies against taking unilateral steps over exchange rates. – (Guardian service)