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Yen manipulation claims 'completely off the mark': Aso

Published on Jan 25, 2013 11:37 AM
Women look at a board displaying the Japanese Yen's exchange rage outside a brokerage in Tokyo on Jan 18, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday rejected claims that Tokyo was orchestrating a slide in the yen, a day after German leader Angela Merkel voiced concern over the new government's exchange rate policy.

"The criticism that (the government) is manipulating the currency rate is completely off the mark," Mr Aso was quoted as saying in the online edition of the leading Nikkei business daily.

His comments were the latest in a simmering row over Japan's currency, with critics saying Tokyo's pressure on the central bank for aggressive policy action amounted to meddling that could spark a global currency war.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan announced an open-ended easing plan and the adoption of a two-percent inflation target to stoke growth in the deflation-plagued economy. The move was widely seen as the central bank bowing to political pressure.

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