MANAGING FLEXIBILITY: JAPANESE EXCHANGE RATE POLICY, 1971â2007
The paper reviews Japan's exchange rate policy from the end of the Bretton Woods era to the present. The Japanese authorities used various tools to manage the yenâdollar exchange rate over much of this period. The most dominant was official foreign exchange intervention, which in most instances took the form of "leaning against the wind". Capital controls were also used but, with full capital account convertibility, ceased to exist as an instrument of exchange rate policy by the mid-1980s. Following the post-Plaza appreciation of the yen, the authorities eased monetary policy to arrest the appreciating pressure. The possible role of exchange rate policy in the great asset inflation that followed, however, remains unanswered. More recently, exchange rate policy during the period of prolonged stagnation and fragile recovery was made subordinate to the overall stance of macroeconomic policy. In this regard, particularly striking in terms of scale and frequency was the "great intervention" of 2003â2004. Equally striking has been the total absence of official intervention since. It would require a renewed substantial volatility of the yen to know whether this indeed marks a permanent shift in Japan's exchange rate policy.
Japanese exchange rate policy, exchange rate management, Japanese economic policy
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