Quick steps to tackle strong yen needed: Japanese econ ministers

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Economics Minister Motohisa Furukawa said on Sunday he and three other economy-related ministers in Japan agreed that measures to respond to a firmer yen need to be compiled quickly to alleviate the negative effect of the currency's appreciation on the domestic economy.

The agreement follows Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's comment on Friday that Japan is facing an unprecedented crisis where industry is hollowing out because of a strong yen.

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The three other members of the newly formed Noda's cabinet were Finance Minister Jun Azumi, Trade and Energy Minister Yoshio Hachiro, and Tatsuo Hirano, who is in charge of reconstruction following a massive quake and tsunami in March.

In the first meeting of the Noda government's economy-related ministers, no concrete steps were discussed, Furukawa said.

Azumi said earlier on Sunday he will keep an eye on speculative moves in the currency market and take a decisive step if necessary, in a sign he will follow the footsteps of his predecessor Noda, who as finance minister, led currency intervention three times to curb the yen's rise.

(Reporting by Shinji Kitamura, writing by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Ed Lane)

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