Japan set to list efforts to stop yen’s rise

Julian Harris
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JAPAN’S newly selected prime minister Yoshihiko Noda announced yesterday that further steps would be taken to weigh down the yen.

In his former post as finance minister, Noda had recently warned markets that he was keeping a close eye on the yen and would take action to reverse any appreciation.

“After forming a new structure, I’d like to quickly put together and announce my thinking, including the use of yen reserves as well as how I will deal with the third extra budget,” Noda (pictured) added yesterday.

The government has been exploring options other than currency market intervention. Yesterday Noda hinted that assistance for small companies’ financing needs could be part of the plan.

Noda has previously said that excessive yen rises have an adverse impact on the Japanese economy’s recovery from the March earthquake and tsunami.

More bad news for the Japanese economy was revealed yesterday, with unemployment rising to 4.7 per cent in July, up from 4.6 per cent in June.

Economists had expected the jobless rate to stick at 4.6 per cent. Yet the availability of jobs improved slightly, offering some hope for the country’s labour market.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio rose to 0.64 from 0.63 in June, matching forecasts, while the number of new job offers rose four per cent in July from the previous month and was up 12.2 per cent from a year ago.