Weekend papers wrote that the Treasury Department released a semi-annual report on the foreign-exchange policies of major U.S. trading partners, in which Japan, China, Germany, and other nations were put on a watch list. The USG will monitor their forex practices to gauge whether they provide an unfair trade advantage over the U.S. Noting that the report called the yen’s recent appreciation against the dollar “orderly,” the dailies said Washington is anxious to hold Japan’s apparent desire to devaluate its currency in check. The papers expressed concern that the Japanese currency’s appreciation and stock price plunge may continue as a result of U.S. pressure.
In a follow-up development, Sunday’s Nikkei and Sankei front-paged press remarks on Saturday by Finance Minister Aso, who hinted at Japan’s determination to halt the yen’s appreciation by saying: “I am deeply concerned about the unilateral, biased, and speculative moves [in the forex market]. We will respond as necessary…. [The USG report] will not restrict our response at all.” Nikkei explained in a separate piece that the Treasury document was designed to quell congressional criticism of the TPP since some U.S. lawmakers have taken issue with currency manipulation by the Chinese and other nations when debating the regional free trade initiative.