NEW YORK — Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday defended as necessary for economic and financial stability his government's intervention in the currency markets to stem the yen's surge.
"At the G7 as well as the G20, I believe there's a common understanding that excessive fluctuation of exchange rates will militate against economic and financial stability," Kan told reporters in New York, speaking through an interpreter.
"The recent currency intervention by Japan was conducted with this view in mind for the purpose of restraining excessive fluctuation of exchange rates," Kan said while he was attending UN General Assembly meetings.
Japan stepped into the currency markets on September 15 for the first time since 2004 in a bid to stem a strong yen after it hit a fresh 15-year high against the dollar of 82.86.
The move drew criticism from some politicians in Europe and the United States but the government has repeatedly said it was ready to act again in currency markets if necessary.
In an interview Wednesday with the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa said Japan's central bank will continue to supply funds to the markets, warning of a downside risk to the nation's fragile economic recovery.
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