Japan PM's adviser says Japan not manipulating its currency

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:12am EST

WASHINGTON Feb 15 (Reuters) - Japan's monetary policy only targets domestic objectives, and therefore should not be perceived as trying to manipulate the yen, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday.

"As long as Japan is trying to aim at its own domestic goal of price levels, that will result in some particular exchange level," Koichi Hamada, Abe's special economic adviser, said at a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think-tank.

"I do not think it is a manipulation."

Some U.S. and European officials have said Tokyo was aiming to guide the yen lower with its aggressive expansion of monetary policy, but Japan has said it is simply trying to reflate its economy.

Hamada, a Yale University professor, said Japan should not be criticized for its domestic policies, just as the country did not critize Britain and the United States for expanding their money supply in the midst of the financial crisis, after the collapse of the financial firm Lehman Brothers.

"Our ministers are saying, we did not complain to the Bank of England or the Federal Reserve when the U.S. tried to cope with the Lehman shock with expansive monetary policy," he said. "They say we are not to be criticized for taking aggressive monetary policy (actions)."

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