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The Wall Street Journal: Japan official threatens action if yen rises too sharply

TOKYO — Japan’s top currency bureaucrat issued a fresh warning Wednesday over the soaring yen, saying the government would have to act should it rise too sharply.

“If there are excessively sharp movements, we will have to take action,” Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs Masatsugu Asakawa told reporters at the ministry’s headquarters.

The comment was likely a veiled threat of direct intervention in the currency market to force lower the yen — a step increasingly seen as undesirable manipulation among wealthy economies. The remark followed the yen’s surge Tuesday beyond the 100 mark against the dollar. A higher yen reduces Japanese manufacturers’ repatriated profits and undermines a positive growth cycle sought by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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