Japan PM Abe instructs Finance Minister to take forex steps as needed in emergency meeting

Japan asks the UK to reassure them that Japanese companies will be able to continue operating in their country, following Britain's vote to leave the EU.
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe arrives at his official residence to attend a meeting to discuss Britain's exit from the European Union, in Tokyo, Japan, on June 24.
Japan's PM Shinzo Abe arrives at his official residence to attend a meeting to discuss Britain's exit from the European Union, in Tokyo, Japan, on June 24.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday (June 27) he has instructed Finance Minister Taro Aso to watch currency markets "ever more closely" and take steps if necessary, in the wake of Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union.

"Risks and uncertainty remain in financial markets," Mr Abe said at an emergency meeting between the government and the Bank of Japan. "We need to continue to work towards market stability," he said, signalling Tokyo's readiness to conduct yen-selling intervention in the market if it deems yen rises as excessive.

Mr Abe summoned Mr Aso and Bank of Japan deputy governor Hiroshi Nakaso to discuss how to deal with the market turbulence caused by Brexit.

The yen briefly soared above the key threshold of 100 to the US dollar on Friday as investors hoarded the safe-haven currency after the Brexit vote, adding to headaches for Japanese policymakers worried about the effect a strong yen could have on exports.

"I was instructed by the prime minister to take various, aggressive responses to ensure stability in financial and currency markets," Mr Aso told reporters after the meeting.

Mr Nakaso said the BOJ remained in close contact with other central banks to ensure global financial markets had ample liquidity.

The deputy governor, who was speaking to reporters after the meeting, declined to comment on whether the BOJ would hold an emergency rate review to expand monetary stimulus.