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Mighty yen could be good news for Japan ahead of US summit

Tokyo seeks to avoid drawing Trump's ire over currency policy

ISAYA SHIMIZU, Nikkei senior staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Signs of strength in the yen brought unexpected relief here ahead of Friday's U.S.-Japan summit, as the firmer currency against the dollar should blunt criticism of devaluation by President Donald Trump.

"We want to avoid an excessive weakening of the yen before the summit," said one government insider, echoing a sentiment shared by many. That would provoke Trump, who has already accused Japan -- which has a huge trade surplus with the U.S. -- of "play[ing] the devaluation market." Steven Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary nominee, has also warned that "an excessively strong dollar may have negative short-term implications on the economy."

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