Concerns over Japanese yen are overstated - IMF tells G20

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:59am EST

WASHINGTON Feb 21 (Reuters) - Concerns over the depreciation of the Japanese yen are overstated and the Bank of Japan should act with more resolve to escape deflation that has long plagued its economy, the International Monetary Fund said in a report to the Group of 20 published on Thursday.

The report, circulated at a recent G20 meeting of finance minister in Moscow, said a doubling of Japan's inflation target to 2 percent and a switch to open-ended asset purchases was a move in the right direction. But it said more was needed, such as substantially expanding Japan's asset purchase program.

The G20 meeting was marked by concerns over a "currency war" after comments by Japanese officials on Feb. 8 that the yen had weakened more than intended, suggesting the authorities were targeting a specific value for the yen.

The IMF also said the U.S. dollar had depreciated modestly "toward medium-term fundamentals".

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