Japan 'ready' for more yen action

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa
Image caption Masaaki Shirakawa says further interventions in the yen cannot be ruled out

The governor of Japan's central bank has not ruled out further interventions in the currency markets in its fight to control the rising value of the yen.

Speaking at a conference in Kobe, Masaaki Shirakawa said the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was "ready to implement appropriate action" if required.

The BOJ intervened in the currency markets for the first time in six years earlier this month.

Its decision to sell large amounts of yen helped drive down the currency.

Previously the yen had reached a 15-year high against the dollar - a concern for Japan's exporters who are seeing their profits squeezed by the poor exchange rate.

Mr Shirakawa said the BOJ would closely watch the impact the strong yen is having on the economy.

"We have to pay more attention than before to the downside risk to the economy," he said.

"We are ready to implement appropriate action in a timely manner if judged necessary."

The comments came two days after the central bank was suspected of intervening in the markets for a second time, leading to a sharp fall of more than 1% in the value of the yen against the dollar.

Later the Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan said he was unaware of a second intervention by the BOJ.

Since then the yen has risen again and is now at 84.212 yen to the dollar.

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