* Flaherty says G7 made "consensus statement"
* Says Japan not singled out by G7 statement
OTTAWA Feb 13 A Group of Seven statement
designed to cool international currency tensions was a consensus
effort and not meant to single out Japan, Canadian Finance
Minister Jim Flaherty said on Wednesday.
Asked if the statement, issued on Tuesday, meant to single
out Japan, he answered, "No. It was a consensus statement by the
members of the G7, the finance ministers and the governors ...
expressing our concern about exchange rates."
Reporters repeated the question and he again replied that
Japan was not the target.
In the statement, the G7 declared that fiscal and monetary
policies would not be directed at devaluing currencies - an
attempt by the G7 to soothe market nerves that Tokyo was aiming
to guide the yen lower with its aggressive loosening of monetary
But contradictory statements by various G7 officials about
the intent of the message only led to more market volatility,
with Japan saying the statement gave it a green light to
continue with its efforts and another unnamed G7 official saying
the statement was aimed squarely at Tokyo.
Canadians have been careful not to judge Japan's policy
shift. A senior Canadian finance official refused on Tuesday to
comment on whether the G7 message was aimed at Japan or whether
Ottawa was concerned about yen volatility.
Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday monetary
policy will inevitably have consequences for exchange rates but
said Japan has agreed to acknowledge that monetary policy is
focused on domestic outcomes, not the exchange rate.