September 24, 2022


A 10,000 yen note in a Tokyo supermarket earlier this year.


photo:

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg News

TOKYO—Japan said on Thursday it had intervened in currency markets to sell dollars and buy the yen, the first such intervention in 24 years, in an attempt to stem the currency’s recent sharp decline.

Deputy Finance Minister Masato Kanda confirmed the intervention in brief comments to reporters. He said Tokyo had taken decisive action to stem what he had previously described as an unwanted fall in the yen.

Earlier on Thursday, the yen fell to just 145.87 to the dollar, its lowest level since 1998. Traders have been buying dollars and selling yen this year in part because of the widening gap in Japan’s interest rates against the U.S., where the Federal Reserve has consistently increase rates. The Bank of Japan reiterated on Thursday that it is sticking to its ultra-easy monetary policy.

After the government’s intervention, the yen gained some ground and was trading at just over 143 yen to the dollar late in the afternoon Tokyo time.

Thursday’s event was the first time since 1998 that the Japanese government intervened in currency markets by buying the yen. Since then, there have been occasions when it has sold the yen to stem what it saw as an excessive rise in the Japanese currency.

Write to Chieko Tsuneoka at chieko.Tsuneoka@dowjones.com

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