Japan auto lobby head: yen still is very strong

TOKYO Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:03pm EST

TOKYO Dec 20 (Reuters) - The yen remains very strong against the dollar and the euro even after the Japanese currency's recent weakening, the head of Japan's auto lobby said on Thursday.

The yen has dropped on expectations that Japan's next prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will pressure the Bank of Japan to adopt aggressive monetary easing.

"This is merely a correction of yen strength. Even now, the yen is extremely strong," Akio Toyoda, who is also president of Toyota Motor Corp, told reporters.

Japan's auto exporters are sensitive to fluctuations in the yen, which rose to a record high of 75.311 yen to the dollar in October 2011. A stronger yen reduces what car makers and their suppliers earn overseas and hurts their ability to match competitors such as South Korea's Hyundai Motors on price.

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