US puts Japan back on currency monitoring list

The United States has put Japan back on a currency monitoring list because it maintains wide trade and current account surpluses.

The decision is included in a Treasury Department statement that also noted Japan didn't meet the listing criteria of persistent one-way foreign exchanges purchases.

The department released its semi-annual report on macroeconomic and foreign exchange policies of major trading partners on Thursday.

Japan had been dropped from the list last year for the first time. A weaker yen and higher energy prices had led to declines in the current account surplus in 2023.

Japan's Finance Ministry has announced that the government and the Bank of Japan intervened in the currency market in April and May, buying almost 9.8 trillion yen to prop up the currency.

That's roughly 61 billion dollars.

The US Treasury has noted that Japan has regularly published details of its foreign exchange interventions and operated in a transparent way.

Japanese Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Kanda Masato said" The report gave a positive view toward the transparency of Japan's foreign exchange policy. It notes that the country's actions in currency markets are aimed at the opposite of weakening the yen against the dollar. I don't think there is any problem with Japan's relisting."

But the US Treasury emphasizes that currency market intervention should be reserved for very exceptional circumstances with appropriate prior consultations with trading partners.