* Nissan, Toshiba heads say 100 yen to dollar acceptable
* BOJ needs to be more pro-active - Toshiba chairman
* New PM Abe may be forced to tone down China rhetoric
By Kelvin Soh
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 24 Japan's central bank
needs to allow the yen to depreciate further, instead of waiting
for cues from other major economies before moving, Japanese
executives from companies hit by a rising local currency said on
Their comments follow the Bank of Japan's move to double its
inflation target to 2 percent and made an open-ended commitment
to buying assets next year, in an attempt to end years of
"Today, we are still in a position where the yen is a
handicap," Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co's chief
executive, said in an interview during the World Economic Forum
"A natural territory for the dollar-yen exchange rate should
be 100. Historically, it's been 110."
The yen posted steep losses on Thursday after three days of
gains to trade at about 90 yen to the dollar, weighed down by
Japan's record trade deficit and comments from an economics
official who said the government had no problem with the dollar
hitting 100 yen.
"Ultimately, what we want is stability in the exchange
rate," said Toshiba Corp Chairman Atsutoshi Nishida in
a separate interview, adding that a dollar-yen exchange rate of
about 100 would be suitable for the company.
"The problem (is) that the U.S. will do something and the
Bank of Japan will follow. A major economy will do something,
and the Bank of Japan will follow. We are always following."
A strong yen, a high corporate tax rate and other issues
such as the high cost of electricity following the shutdown of
most of the country's nuclear power plants has resulted in
Toshiba having to move manufacturing jobs outside Japan to
remain competitive, Nishida said.
Worsening relations between China and Japan - over a chain
of disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in
Japan - have also hurt sales, the executives said.
"Our sales have been affected in China, just like all other
Japanese companies," said Nissan's Ghosn. "We hope we won't have
too many hiccups like this and all the investments that we've
done are being jeopardised."
Sales of Japanese cars and other products have been hurt in
recent months. Nissan's sales in China are down about 20 percent
since tensions erupted in September, a senior Nissan executive
said on Jan. 15.
Japanese politicians have done little to soothe relations so
far, with hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, returned to power
in a landslide victory last month, having vowed to take a tough
stance against China during his election campaign.
However, the reality of political office will soon set in
and Abe may ease the hardline stance he took while campaigning,
said the Toshiba chairman.
"Prime Minister Abe has many priorities, but I think the
first thing he wants to do is revive the Japanese economy," said
"China is Japan's largest export market and Japan's ties
with China will have an effect on the prime minister's economic
policy. He will be realistic on this."
(Editing by David Holmes)