Japan spokesman: Trump criticism of currency policy off base

Japanese officials have rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's suggestion that Tokyo is seeking to weaken the yen against the U.S. dollar to gain a trade advantage.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday that Trump's comment, made in a meeting with executives of pharmaceutical companies, "completely misses the mark."

Suga told reporters Japan plans to explain to U.S. officials that the aim of monetary policies that have pulled the yen lower is to spur inflation, not devalue the currency.

Trump accused China and Japan of currency manipulation, saying they play "the devaluation market and we sit there like a bunch of dummies."

After Trump's comments, the dollar weakened sharply against the yen. But by midday Wednesday in Asia, it was at 113.00 yen, slightly above its previous close of 112.94 yen.