April 22, 2022
WASHINGTON — Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Thursday that he agreed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen the same day that the two countries’ currency authorities will “communicate closely” for the stability of the foreign exchange market.
Suzuki and Yellen met in Washington and discussed the yen’s recent rapid weakening against the dollar, the Japanese minister told a press conference. This was the first in-person meeting between Suzuki and Yellen.
Suzuki said he gave numbers to explain to Yellen how rapid the yen’s recent movements have been. The dollar rose to 20-year highs above ¥129 this week as purchases of the greenback for the Japanese currency accelerated on expectations for wider interest rate gaps between the United States and Japan.
At Thursday’s meeting, the Japanese and U.S. finance chiefs reaffirmed past agreements by the Group of Seven major industrial nations, including one saying that exchange rates are determined by the market and another stating that excess volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability.
Suzuki and Yellen also agreed on the need to steadily implement sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
On the possibility of imposing additional sanctions, Suzuki said at the press conference, “We need to closely monitor future developments in the Ukraine situation and examine the effects of the existing sanctions,” adding that Japan will keep in step with the international community including its G7 partners.
The G7 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union.