Japanese finance minister says he is willing to stem yen’s rise

JAPANESE finance minister Yoshihiko Noda says Tokyo would take decisive steps to stem the yen’s rise when needed, while suggesting that coordinated currency market intervention was a difficult option.

Traders are getting cautious about bidding the yen up too much after Japanese ministers kept up warnings against the currency’s surge to 15-year high versus the dollar. Policymakers have repeatedly said they could take decisive action on the yen – normally a code phrase for currency intervention.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and ruling party powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa are facing off in a ruling party leadership vote on 14 September that is distracting policymakers as Japan confronts a strong yen and weak economy.