History of Japan’s intervention in currency markets
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan intervened in the currency market on Thursday for the first time since 1998 to shore up the battered yen, in the wake of the central bank’s decision to maintain ultra-low interest rates that have been driving down the currency.
It is more than a decade since Japan intervened directly in the foreign exchange market and more than two decades since it intervened to support its currency, which it last did during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 to 1998.
Here is a timeline of selected moves in foreign exchange markets by the Bank of Japan (BOJ).
Sept 22, 2022 – The Japanese government intervened in the foreign exchange market to sell dollars for yen to stem the Japanese currency’s recent sharp falls, top currency diplomat Masato Kanda said. The intervention followed a Bank of Japan decision to maintain ultra-low interest rates.
Sept. 7, 2022 – Top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno expresses concern about “rapid, one-sided” moves seen in the currency market after the yen weakens beyond 143 per dollar. He says the government would like to take “necessary steps” if such movements continue. It is the strongest in a series of such official comments made over several months.
June 10, 2022 – Japan’s government and central bank issue a rare joint statement saying they are concerned by recent sharp falls in the yen after it weakens beyond 134 per dollar.
Aug and Oct – 2011 – Japan intervenes to curb gains that officials fear could derail recovery from an economic slump triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
March 18, 2011 – Group of Seven (G7) nations jointly intervene to stem yen strength when the currency spikes to a record high in the aftermath of the earthquake on speculation that Japanese firms would repatriate foreign assets to pay for reconstruction.
Sept. 15, 2010 – Japan intervenes in the currency market for the first time in six years, selling yen to stem a rise in the currency after the dollar hits a 15-year-low at 82.87 yen.
March 2004 – A 15-month campaign to curb the yen’s rise comes to an end after Japan has spent 35 trillion yen, or more than $300 billion, on intervention.
May-June, 2002 – The BOJ intervenes to sell yen, often supported by the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank (ECB). The yen continues to gain.
Sept 2001 – The BOJ intervenes to sell yen after the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. The ECB and New York Federal Reserve both operate on behalf of the BOJ.
January 1999 to April 2000 – The BOJ sells yen at least 18 times, including once via the Federal Reserve and once via the ECB, due to worries the currency’s strength will choke off an economic recovery. The yen continues to strengthen.
1997 – 1998 – The Asian financial crisis sees the yen weaken, reaching nearly 148 per dollar in August 1998, even after U.S. authorities join the BOJ to buy yen.
April 1994 – August 1995 – The dollar sinks to a record low against the German mark and a post-war low against the yen. The United States intervenes repeatedly, often with Japanese and European central banks, to prop up the greenback.
1993 – The BOJ sells yen through much of the year to curb its strength.
1991 – 1992 – The BOJ intervenes to support the yen, selling U.S. dollars.
1988 – On Jan. 4, the dollar falls to 120.45 yen, at that time a post World War Two low, in Tokyo trade. The BOJ intervenes to buy dollars and sell yen.
1987 – In February, six of the G7 nations sign the Louvre Accord, which aims to stabilise currencies and halt the dollar’s broad decline.
1985 – The Group of Five industrial nations, the predecessor to the G7, sign the Plaza Accord, in which they agree that the dollar is overvalued and that they will move to weaken it.
1973 – Japanese monetary authorities decide to let the yen float freely against the greenback.
(Compiled by Tom Westbrook and Daniel Leussink; Editing by Bradley Perrett)