Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said Tuesday all options are on the table in countering excessive movements in the currency market, continuing his verbal warnings as the yen edges closer to 150 against the U.S. dollar.
Suzuki said at a press conference that the monetary authorities of Japan and other nations share the view that excessive volatility is undesirable, and the government is closely watching market developments with a heightened sense of urgency.
Financial markets are watching whether Japanese authorities will intervene after issuing a slew of verbal warnings.
"Foreign exchange rates should be determined by market forces, reflecting fundamentals," Suzuki said.
"We will respond as appropriate to excessive volatility without ruling out any options," the finance minister said, adding Japan has been communicating with other nations regarding currency movements.
The trend of a weak yen was reinforced last week when the Bank of Japan shot down market expectations of an early shift from monetary easing, while the Federal Reserve held off on raising rates but was viewed as on course for another hike this year.
Since stepping into the market on multiple occasions last year, Japan has sat on the sidelines. Suzuki has said the government is keeping tabs on volatility, not specific dollar-yen levels.
Still, the yen's continuing decline has raised inflationary pressures for resource-scarce Japan, which relies heavily on imports of energy and other raw materials.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also said currency movements should be stable and reflect economic fundamentals, as he unveiled Monday an outline of economic measures to cushion the impact of quickening inflation.