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Thursday, 7th January 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japan appoints new finance minister

The Japanese government has appointed a new finance minister after existing minister Hirohisa Fujii quit the role over health problems.

Fujii, who is 77, has been suffering from exhaustion after intensive discussions over the country's budget for 2010 and reportedly offered to quit some days ago. He has been the finance minister for the past four months.

The new finance minister will be Naoto Kan, 63, who took part in a news conference today (January 7th) to say that he would like the yen to continue to weaken.

"My thinking is that it would be preferable if the correction continues toward a weaker yen," he said, which led to falls on the Japanese stock exchange.

He told the conference he will "work hard to bring the yen to the appropriate level".

Commenting, chief foreign exchange manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Hideaki Inoue told Dow Jones that the minister's speech sent "a strong message".

Written by Kimberley Homer.