December 26, 2016 / 11:34 PM / a year ago

Japan's Cabinet Secretary Suga says FX policy is a top Abe priority

TOKYO (Reuters) - Currency policy is a top priority of Premier Shinzo Abe’s administration in creating a favourable business environment for Japanese companies, the country’s top government spokesman told the Nikkei newspaper in an interview that ran on Tuesday.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in Tokyo, Japan August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

“It’s extremely important to create an environment where Japanese companies can (smoothly) set business plans,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was quoted as saying, adding that currency policy was an “important factor” in the government’s handling of economic policy.

Suga said the government has taken “various crisis management steps” to arrest unwelcome yen rises that hurt Japan’s exporters, such as creating a meeting of Ministry of Finance, Financial Services Agency and Bank of Japan bureaucrats to discuss exchange rate moves.

“We have a very strong interest” in currency moves, he said.

The Nikkei did not say when the interview was conducted.

Japanese government officials have repeatedly issued verbal warnings to market players against pushing up the yen too much when the currency spiked earlier this year.

But they have been silent recently as a broad dollar uptrend, driven by expectations of steady interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve, helps weaken the yen.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Eric Meijer

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