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Japan Finmin: U.S. Monitoring Won’t Constrain Japan

Japan’s actions in the currency markets will not be constrained by the United States adding the country to a new monitoring list over foreign exchange policies, and it will act as needed, Finance Minister Taro Aso was quoted by the Kyodo news agency as saying on Sunday.

The yen surged to its highest in more than a year and a half after the Bank of Japan’s surprise decision not to ease monetary policy on Thursday sparked the currency’s biggest one-day rise in five years. It strengthened as far as 106.27 to the dollar on Friday.

“This is not something that will restrain our response on currencies,” Kyodo quoted Aso in the early hours of Sunday as saying regarding the U.S. action. Aso was speaking to reporters before heading to Frankfurt to attend a meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

“We are clearly seeing one-sided speculative moves and are extremely concerned,” Aso said. “We will continue intently watching currency market trends so that speculative movement does not persist, and will act as needed.”

The United States on Friday flagged concerns over economic policies in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Germany, mostly due to their large surpluses, and put them on a new monitoring list under provisions of a trade bill passed in Congress this year.