January 12, 2010 / 2:56 AM / 9 years ago

RPT-Japan's Kan agrees with US on need for stable forex

(Repeats to fix technical glitch) (For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP])

TOKYO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan agreed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that currency market stability was desirable in his first phone talks with his U.S. counterpart since assuming the post last week, a government source said on Tuesday.

In a phone call on Monday evening, Kan told Geithner he would attend the Group of Seven finance chiefs’ gathering to be held in Canada on Feb. 5-6, the Japanese official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

It is unclear whether Kan and Geithner will meet for bilateral talks on the sidelines of the G7 gathering, although usually under such circumstances the two ministers would meet, the official said.

The phone conversation was initiated by Japan, said the official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Kan, 63, also deputy prime minister, was named finance minister last Wednesday, replacing 77-year-old Hirohisa Fujii, who stepped down for health reasons. [ID:nTOE60601A]

In his first press briefing as finance minister last Thursday, Kan jolted financial markets by saying he hoped the yen would weaken further and that many Japanese firms were in favour of dollar/yen around 95 yen. [ID:nTOE60607E]

He toned down that call for a weaker yen the following day after a rebuke from the prime minister, saying currency levels should be determined by markets. [ID:nTOE60701F] (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto, Leika Kihara)

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