Economy 12 February 2013 G7: Japan is fine. No, not fine. The other one. Concerning. Japan is concerning. Lessons in unclear policy communication. Print HTML The G7, earlier today, issued a vague statement on monetary policy which was interpreted by many as confirming that the group doesn't see Japan as engaging in competitive devaluation — or "currency wars". The statement read, in full: We, the G7 Ministers and Governors, reaffirm our longstanding commitment to market determined exchange rates and to consult closely in regard to actions in foreign exchange markets. We reaffirm that our fiscal and monetary policies have been and will remain oriented towards meeting our respective domestic objectives using domestic instruments, and that we will not target exchange rates. We are agreed that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability. We will continue to consult closely on exchange markets and cooperate as appropriate. The note, while bland, had some import; it appeared to be a statement, crucially co-signed by the US and Japan, accepting that the aggressive monetary policy Japan has embarked on of late is compatible with "market determined exchange rates". The "G7 ministers and governors" is obviously a group that includes Japanese ministers and governors, so it can't be critical of Japan. Except it was. Cue panicky walk-backs from the G7: 12-Feb-2013 13:56 G7 OFFICIAL SAYS G7 IS CONCERNED ABOUT UNILATERAL GUIDANCE ON THE YEN, JAPAN WILL BE IN SPOTLIGHT AT G20 MEETING IN MOSCOW 12-Feb-2013 13:56 – G7 OFFICIAL SAYS G7 STATEMENT WAS MISINTERPRETED, STATEMENT SIGNALED CONCERN ABOUT EXCESS MOVES IN JAPANESE YEN If you're trying to signal concern, it might be best to signal concern, rather than issue a badly-drafted statement that communicates the exact opposite of your intention. › BBC2 axe The Hour; (mild) outrage ensues Photograph: Getty Images Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter. From only £1 a week Subscribe More Related articles Autumn Statement 2015: a test of competence as well as compassion Autumn Statement 2015: whatever you hear, don't forget - there is an alternative Autumn Statement 2015: How should Labour respond?