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Dollar falls to 14-year low vs yen on US outlook

Japan Dollar Asian World Markets

A Tokyo money dealer reacts as the U.S. dollar is traded at between 86.43 yen and 86.48 yen on the Tokyo foreign exchange in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. The dollar has tumbled to 14-year low against the Japanese yen after traders reacted to indications that U.S. interest rates will remain low and that Federal Reserve isn’t overly concerned about the dollar’s slide.

Dollar falls to 14-year low vs yen on US outlook

TOKYO – The dollar tumbled to 14-year low against the yen Thursday, adding to pressure on Japan‘s beleaguered exporters, amid indications U.S. interest rates will remain low and the Federal Reserve isn’t overly concerned about the dollar’s slide.

The dollar sank to 86.27 yen in Tokyo trading, the lowest since July 1995, and sending the Nikkei 225 stock average down by 0.6 percent to 9,383.24. Dealers were not ruling out further weakness in the currency.

Analysts said some investors were selling the dollar to buy gold, which surged to a record Thursday, and other commodities.

A strong yen is bad for Japan’s economy because it erodes overseas income for the country’s big auto and electronics exporters.

Toshiba Corp. President Norio Sasaki said the yen’s appreciation “could have a severe impact on our businesses.”

“I would like governments to coordinate in a bid to halt a surge in the yen,” Sasaki told public broadcaster NHK.

Toshiba, which makes everything from nuclear power plants to household electronics, is forecasting a $550 million loss for the fiscal year through March.

The dollar’s latest plunge also adds to concerns over China’s tight currency controls, which its trading partners say are giving it an unfair advantage in export markets.

While the yen, euro and Australian dollar are bearing the brunt of the dollar’s weakness, the Chinese yuan remains loosely pegged to the dollar — a level that American critics say is artificially low. Beijing has been cool to suggestions it ease its currency practices to allow the yuan to strengthen.

Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii said Japan “will take appropriate steps if foreign exchange rates move abnormally.” But investors drove up the yen anyway, unconvinced that Tokyo — which hasn’t intervened in the currency markets since 2004 — will step in to sell the yen to try to weaken it.

“The perception is that Japanese authorities aren’t overly worried about the dollar and won’t intervene,” said Koji Fukaya, senior currency strategist with Deutsche Securities in Tokyo.

The dollar has also been falling against the 16-nation euro, which rose to a 15-month high Wednesday. It eased to $1.5103 on Thursday from $1.5132 late Wednesday.

The renewed slump in the dollar was driven largely by the publication Tuesday of the minutes to the Fed’s last rate-setting meeting on Nov. 3-4.

The Fed said at the time that it plans to keep interest rates at “exceptionally low levels” for an “extended period” — currently the Fed funds rate stands at a range between zero and 0.25 percent — and that the fall in the dollar had been “orderly.”

Currency traders seized on the reference to the dollar as the Fed is usually wary of talking about changes in currency values.

With the Fed likely to keep rates low, investors are looking to commodities and riskier assets for higher returns, said Masafumi Yamamato, chief foreign exchange strategist at Barclays Capital.

Japan seems to have adopted a policy of “benign neglect” regarding exchange rates, he said.

But with the government’s alarm over deflation, or falling prices, in the economy, policymakers may become more proactive, Yamamoto said. A strong dollar tends to fuel deflation by reducing the price of imports and raw materials. Falling prices can cut into corporate profits and could lead to lower wages.

“They must change if they want to stop deflation and they want to reduce the negative consequences on the Japanese economy through the currency market,” he said. “If there is no change, the dollar-yen will fall toward 85 yen.”

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New Japan leader to create economic recovery post

Japan Politics Elections

New Japan leader to create economic recovery post

TOKYO – Japan‘s likely next prime minister met with senior party leaders Tuesday to discuss a new Cabinet, expected to include a new post to oversee strategy to bring the country out of its worst economic downturn since World War II.

Diplomacy, particularly relations with top ally Washington, also was expected to be one of Yukio Hatoyama‘s top priorities.

Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections over the weekend, and he has moved quickly to prepare a coalition with smaller allies and meet with top leaders of his own party to assure a smooth transition.

Hatoyama is to be formally installed as prime minister, replacing the Liberal DemocratsTaro Aso, in a special session of parliament sometime in the next few weeks.

His Democrats soundly defeated the Liberal Democratic Party, which has been in power for virtually all of the past 54 years, and now face severe problems centered on rebuilding the world’s second-largest economy and dealing with record-high unemployment.

One of Hatoyama’s first moves will be to create a Cabinet post to oversee fiscal policy and other top national strategy issues, the daily Yomiuri and other media reported. He is also expected to name one of the party’s most senior members to take the finance minister portfolio. Hatoyama did not speak with reporters Tuesday, and party officials had no immediate comment.

After being elected, Hatoyama is expected to travel to New York to attend a session of the United Nations, and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to visit Tokyo in October to discuss the U.S.-Japan military alliance.

Hatoyama’s Democrats have said they want to bring a more independent stance to Japan that places more emphasis on relations with its Asian neighbors, while keeping U.S. relations as a cornerstone of their global policy.

The United States has about 50,000 troops deployed across Japan under a mutual security pact. The governments are negotiating an arrangement to move some 8,000 Marines from the southern Japan island of Okinawa to the tiny U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean.

The move has been complicated by the related issue of moving an air station now located in the crowded Okinawan city of Futenma. Washington wants the facility to be replaced with another airfield on Okinawa, but that plan has met with tough local opposition.

Hatoyama’s party has been vague on what it intends to do about the base, but Washington has insisted it must be replaced soon under existing plans.

“The United States has no intention to renegotiate the Futenma replacement facility plan or Guam relocation with the government of Japan,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Monday.

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The elderly bodybuilding contest held in Japan, the Champions Cup Fellow 74-year-old muscular

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Tsutomu Otsuka show muscle

The elderly bodybuilding contest held in Japan, the Champions Cup Fellow 74-year-old muscular

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Top three finishers

Recently, Tokyo, Japan held an old bodybuilding contest. So that everyone surprised that these sixty or seventy years old is still strong build, 74-year-old champion is even more muscular in no way inferior to the young lad.

74-year-old Tsutomu Otsuka (Tsutomu Tosuka) Although the silver-haired, but with a solid color of ancient Tong muscle into being successful, won the 2009 Japan Master Bodybuilding Championships (Japan Masters Bodybuilding Championships) champion.

And many participants are different Tsutomu Otsuka is not a professional bodybuilder, he is from a friend’s 40-year-old the first time fell in love with bodybuilding. Since then, more than three decades since, he had to practice hard and persevere, and finally trained in a beautiful muscles. Although over seventy years of age have been, but the muscles are still Otsuka Tsutomu so amazed by the judges.

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