Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday expressed eagerness to hold discussions with other ministers and government agencies about what is behind the recent trouble in the “bitcoin” virtual currency market.
“We do not clearly know what bitcoins are, so we have to start studying it,” Aso said at a press conference, referring to the sudden shutdown earlier this week of all transactions on Mt. Gox, a major bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo.
Aso added there is a group in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that is studying the bitcoin market.
Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed Monday a Group of Seven agreement to ensure stability in the foreign exchange market, Japanese officials said.
Kan explained to his U.S. counterpart the growth strategy the Japanese government worked out at the end of 2009 to achieve sustainable growth, said the officials.
The Japanese finance minister told reporters after his talks with Geithner that ”We had general discussion on the currency market.”
”We talked about the need to ensure stability in the market,” Kan said.
Kan, also deputy prime minister, succeeded Hirohisa Fujii last Thursday as the latter stepped down due to poor health.
Kan said in his inaugural news conference that many Japanese companies think it would be ideal for the dollar to be around 95 yen.
The remarks sparked dollar buying with the U.S. currency rising to a four-month high in the mid-93 yen, as players took them to mean the new finance minister will tolerate a weaker yen.