NAYPYITAW, Myanmar Jan 3 Japanese Finance
Minister Taro Aso said on Thursday that the yen had begun to
weaken since the start of the year as concerns over the U.S.
budget standoff have eased.
"Excessive yen strength is being corrected after risks
related to the U.S. 'fiscal cliff' have subsided around the New
Year period," Aso told reporters while on a visit to Myanmar.
"It's important that the currency doesn't move up and down
rapidly, but in a steady way," he added.
Aso, who was visiting Myanmar to reaffirm Japan's intention
to cancel debt and help develop a big industrial zone there,
also kept up the pressure on the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to help get
the world's third-largest economy out of deflation.
"It's our utmost priority to fight deflation, and we will
cooperate with the BOJ to achieve this goal," he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new government is
pursuing a policy mix of aggressive monetary easing and heavy
fiscal spending to beat deflation and weaken the yen. It has
called on the BOJ to adopt a 2 percent inflation target - double
its current goal.
(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Hugh Lawson)