Japan govt. 'concerned' by weakening yen

Japan's Finance Minister says he's concerned about the rapid slide of the yen, and has hinted the government is ready to take action.

Suzuki Shunichi spoke after the Japanese currency briefly weakened to the 135-yen zone against the dollar on Monday. That is its lowest level in nearly 24 years.

He said the government is treating the matter with a sense of urgency. He said it will keep coordinating with the Bank of Japan as it monitors moves in the currency market, and the impact they have on the economy.

Suzuki said the government is in contact with monetary authorities in other countries, and prepared to take appropriate action when needed.

The yen's slide is a result of the widening gap in interest rates between Japan and the US. That disparity is prompting investors to dump yen-denominated assets in favor of higher yields on the greenback.