Business circles mixed about Japan's intervention amid industry shift

Business circles expressed mixed feelings about Japan's currency intervention Thursday, with some hailing it as a sign of the government's determination to stem the rapid fall of the yen while others raised questions about its effectiveness.
Masakazu Tokura, head of the Japan Business Federation, the country's biggest business lobby, welcomed the yen-buying intervention. "It means a lot that the government showed its will to not leave speculative moves in the currency market unattended," he told reporters.
Some company officials in the restaurant industry expressed skepticism over the government's action as the industry has struggled with the soaring costs of imported foods on the back of the war in Ukraine.
"It wouldn't reduce our costs much even if (the intervention) helped strengthen the yen to some extent," one of them said.
Another one said, "We will see if it can really curb the weakness in the yen."
Fumiya Kokubu, head of the Japan Foreign Trade Council, an industry organization for trading houses, has called into question the often-touted benefit of a weaker yen in boosting Japanese exports.
"Japan's industry structure has shifted to the type (that earns more from) overseas investment from one (depending on) exports," Kokubu, chairman of Marubeni Corp, told a press conference Wednesday.
An official at a major machinery maker said a weaker yen still works to help lift earnings when overseas profits are repatriated.
So the intervention "could affect long-term business outlook in anticipation of the yen's depreciation."

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