19 January 2001, 08:43  Miyazawa declines comment on Hayami's yen remarks

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) - Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said he cannot comment on remarks made this morning by Bank of Japan governor Masaru Hayami that the current level of the yen is too low.
"I have not heard Hayami's remarks so I will not comment on that," he said, adding that he is looking cautiously at foreign exchange market movements.
Miyazawa said a meeting of senior officials this morning to discuss the Cabinet Office economic assessment included some comments that the economy will be insulated from the U.S. slowdown if the dollar remains around 120 yen.
However, he stressed that these comments do not represent his view but were simply discussions at the meeting.
Some had commented that "exports have fallen due to the U.S. economic slowdown but if the dollar/yen moves around the 120 yen level, it will offset the fall in exports," he said.
In addition, the meeting discussed the possibility that U.S. economic growth of around 2-3 pct would contribute some 0.4 percentage points to growth in Japan, he added.
Miyazawa said he agrees with the Cabinet Office economic assessment released today that Japan is still on a path towards an autonomous recovery, led by the corporate sector.
However, he added: "I have an impression that economic recovery is very slow."
On moves by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to revive the equity market, Miyazawa said he thinks the stockmarket should generally not be disturbed but, given the current situation, he understands the LDP's proposals.
He added that he does not expect U.S.-Japan financial and economic relations to change under the new U.S. administration of George W Bush.

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