Japan's top currency official rejects Trump's devaluation claims

Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a press conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo on Jan 31, 2017.
Bank of Japan (BOJ) governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a press conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo on Jan 31, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's top currency official said on Wednesday (Feb 1) that foreign-exchange rates were decided by markets and were not being manipulated, after US President Donald Trump took aim at the currency policies of Japan and other trading partners.

"As Bank of Japan Governor (Haruhiko) Kuroda has said repeatedly, Japan's monetary policy aims to achieve the domestic purpose of ending deflation. It's not aimed at (affecting) currency rates," Mr Masatsugu Asakawa, vice-finance minister for international affairs, told reporters.

Mr Asakawa said he could not comment on Mr Trump's currency policy as his intentions were not necessarily clear.

"If (the president) is talking about currency intervention, Japan hasn't done any lately," he added.

The US dollar was put on the defensive after Mr Trump and trade adviser Peter Navarro criticised China, Germany and Japan, saying they were devaluing their currencies to the disadvantage of the United States.

The dollar slid briefly fell to 112.08 yen, well short of Monday's 115.01 peak, keeping Japanese policymakers on edge over the pain a yen rebound could inflict on Japan's export-reliant economy.