Japan's core consumer prices fell for a second straight month in April, dealing another blow to Tokyo's faltering war on deflation, data showed Friday.
Japan's economy appears to be weakening as exports fell 10 percent and imports plunged 23 percent in April while a monthly survey of factory managers showed the sharpest deterioration in operating conditions in over three years.
Divisions over reigniting global growth were set to surface at the G7 in Japan Friday, with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew expected to stand firm over any action threatening a currency war.
Japan sidestepped a recession after its economy grew in the first quarter, preliminary data showed Wednesday, but efforts to cement recovery in the world's number three economy were gaining little traction.
Japan's economy grew at a better than expected 1.7 percent annual pace in the first quarter of this year, as solid consumer demand and higher government spending offset relatively weak business investment and sluggish exports.
The yen slipped Monday on speculation Tokyo will postpone a sales tax rise to avoid denting Japan's already fragile economy, while a lackluster string of Chinese data took a bite out of emerging currencies
The yen edged higher Friday even as the Bank of Japan's chief repeated a pledge that he was ready to unleash more stimulus measures to boost the sagging economy.
The yen weakened Tuesday as Japanese officials ramped up a bid to tame the surging currency, while the Philippine peso ticked higher with anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte set to become the country's new president.
The yen slipped Monday as Tokyo officials kept up their war of words in a bid to tame the surging currency, while the U.S. dollar won support as weak U.S. jobs data failed to extinguish hopes for rate hikes this year.
Japan's foreign minister announced a US$7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows.