The most remarkable thing about this year’s rallies in the yen and won is what’s not happening in Tokyo and Seoul: panic.
Like clockwork over the last decade, any jump in exchange rates would have had Japanese and South Korean officials – desperate to keep export prices competitive – squeaking with alarm.
Yet this time the usual suspects are silent and the usual catchphrases – from “we’re watching market trends urgently” to concerns about “one-sided” trades – are largely absent.
One reason is a recognition that the yen and won are rising for the right reasons. There is also, perhaps, a nascent realization in both capitals that the trend of rising currencies has more pros than cons.