(Bloomberg) -- Japanese financial authorities should consider conducting coordinated currency intervention with other countries to support the yen, the head of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.

Small and mid-sized Japanese companies are suffering from the rising costs of imported materials as the yen trades near a 34-year low against the dollar, TCCI Chairman Ken Kobayashi said Wednesday in a press conference, Kyodo News reported.

Kobayashi’s comments came a day after Takeshi Niinami, president of Suntory Holdings Ltd. and head of the Keizai Doyukai, said in a press conference, “the situation has reached a level that needs to be corrected.”

The sliding yen has spurred cost-push inflation through rising import costs, weighing on consumption. Household spending fell in February for a 12th straight month as workers suffering from nearly two years of declining real wages tightened their budgets.

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A former Bank of Japan official, Kazuo Momma, said Wednesday the bank may be forced to respond to the currency weakness. 

“The weak yen is a problem for households and businesses,” said Momma, who is a former executive director in charge of monetary policy.

Finance ministry officials from around the world are gathered in Washington this week for a series of events including an annual gathering of the International Monetary Fund and a Group-of-20 meeting. 

South Korean Finance Minister Choi Sang-mok and his Japanese counterpart Shunichi Suzuki expressed “serious concerns” over the recent weakening of their currencies and warned of taking appropriate steps to counter any drastic volatility after they met Tuesday, South Korea’s government said in a statement.

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While the yen’s depreciation has helped industries with a high ratio of overseas sales, as demonstrated by the 7.3% gain in March exports, domestic demand-oriented companies have struggled.

Some small and medium-sized companies that are unable to pass on cost hikes have not been able to cope with the impact of the yen’s depreciation. According to a survey by Tokyo Shoko Research, there have been 20 consecutive months of bankruptcies related to the weak yen since July 2022.

Fast Retailing Co. Chairman and President Tadashi Yanai said at an earnings press conference earlier this month the weak yen “is bad not just for our company, but also for Japan.”

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