By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said on Sunday the government must take steps as needed against excessive declines in the yen.

“As for excessive, one-sided currency moves, we will closely watch developments and must take steps as needed,” Kihara told a television programme, when asked about the yen’s recent sharp declines.

The yen has recently fallen to 24-year lows against the dollar, as investors focus on the widening divergence between the U.S. Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes and the Bank of Japan’s pledge to maintain ultra-low rates.

“I won’t comment on monetary and interest-rate policy, as they fall under the jurisdiction of the BOJ,” Kihara said.

Kihara also said the government was ready to decide “in the not so distant future” on steps to further open Japan’s borders to overseas visitors, such as scrapping a ceiling on the daily number of entrants.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)