As Yen appreciates rapidly, Japan's Finance Minister sounds alarm bells
Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso described the yen's recent rise as "rapid" on Friday, signalling concern that a strong currency could add pain to an export-led economy already in recession because of the novel coronavirus.

The yen's recent appreciation comes as the world's third-largest economy has been bottoming out from its deepest post war slump, with authorities juggling a restart of economic activity with efforts to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The currency had been stable at around 107 yen to the dollar under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe administration, Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

"Stability is important, so I'm closely monitoring it with a sense of urgency."

The dollar hit a 4-1/2-month low of 104.195 yen on Friday as investors worried that a recovery in the US economy could be stymied by a second wave of coronavirus.

Japanese shares closed lower on Friday as the safe-haven yen strengthened on dismal US data, while the resurgence of Covid-19 cases dampened hopes of a swift economic rebound, prompting authorities to discuss a response to market moves.

"The government and the Bank of Japan will keep a close watch on underlying market and economic trends and tackle as one as needed," Kenji Okamura, vice finance minister for international affairs, told reporters after a routine meeting with officials from the central bank and the Financial Services Agency.

A Japanese government panel acknowledged on Thursday that the economy peaked in October 2018 and fell into recession, suggesting it was struggling long before its more recent coronavirus slump.

急速な円高と株安を受けて、財務省と金融庁、日銀の幹部が臨時の会合を開きました。  会合には財務省から岡村財務官、金融庁から氷見野長官、日銀から内田理事が出席しました。アメリカ経済の先行き不安などを受けて、31日の東京外国為替市場では円高ドル安が進み、約4カ月ぶりに1ドル=104円台前半をつけました。また、国内での新型コロナウイルスの感染者数の急増を受けて、日経平均株価の下げ幅は600円を超えました。会合終了後、岡村財務官は緊張感を持って市場の動向を注視したいとし、「政府と日銀は必要があれば一体となって取り組んでいく」と強調しました。
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