Japan economics minister says yen heading for appropriate level

TOKYO Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:50am EST

TOKYO Dec 27 (Reuters) - Japan's new Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Thursday the yen was heading toward appropriate levels with its recent weakening, and that it was important to maintain the downward trend.

"As for the yen's firmness, at (around) 85 yen (per dollar) today, it is heading for appropriate levels. It is important to maintain this trend," said Amari, who is in charge of reviving the economy.

The yen slipped to its lowest in more than two years against the dollar on Wednesday and has retreated steadily in recent weeks, as Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide election victory while pressuring the Bank of Japan for monetary easing to counter protracted deflation.

Abe's new government was sworn in on Wednesday.

Amari added that he would consider attending Bank of Japan policy meetings if necessary, saying that he respected the bank's independence but that it was important for the BOJ and the government to hold shared intentions.

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