TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan hopes to explain its stance on the strong yen and how it is hurting the country’s economy at this week’s Group of 20 finance leaders’ gathering, Finance Minister Jun Azumi said on Tuesday.
Azumi also said that he wants to hear from his European counterparts how they plan to deal with the region’s debt problem, which he said will be discussed at the G20 meeting.
“If not for the yen rises, Japan’s economy would have expanded more,” Azumi told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.
“There’s a feeling Japan’s economy is at a standstill, so I would like to explain our stance (on the strong yen) when I meet senior officials from around the world,” he said.
Azumi and Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa are expected to attend the meeting of G20 finance leaders on Thursday in Washington to discuss global economic developments, followed by meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that extend into the weekend.
Japan intervened unilaterally in the currency market and the BOJ eased monetary policy last month in a joint attempt to stem sharp rises in the yen that threatened to derail a fragile economic recovery.
It has held off from stepping into the currency market since then but Japanese policymakers have persisted with verbal warnings to the markets against pushing the yen up too far, helping to keep the Japanese currency below a record high hit against the dollar in August.
The government also unveiled an outline of measures to help ease the pain to the economy from the strong yen, focusing on expanding programs to support employment.
Additional reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Edmund Klamann