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Inside Japanese politics

Suga draws line in the sand: Defend '100 yen' dollar barrier

Japanese leader braces for another Democrat entering the White House

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga looks on during a news conference in Tokyo on Dec. 4.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- A shock wave ran through Japan's Finance Ministry in early November after news broke of Joe Biden's presumed victory in the U.S. presidential election -- not because of the outcome of the race, but because of an order from the prime minister's office.

"Make sure the yen-dollar exchange rate does not cross the 100 yen mark," Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told Finance Ministry officials. His comment, which was confirmed by multiple sources, came with an unspoken message: Be prepared to sell yen for dollars in case the Japanese currency breaches the key threshold.

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