Fx and Rates-Monthly
Brief Overview of "Pre-War FX and Rates"
Pre-World War II exchange rates and interest rates statistics are published by the Bank of Japan. For the original data publications, please see the website of the Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
The Japanese yen went through a few turbulent periods before the World War II. In the late 19th century, Japan lagged behind other nations in adopting the gold standard. As the price of silver dropped sharply against gold, yen also fell, until 1897 when Japan finally adopted the gold standard. The next turbulence for the yen came in 1931 when Japan abandoned the gold standard. Often known as "Takahashi Finance" taken from Korekiyo Takahashi who was the Finance Minister at the time, the combined policy of a sharp yen depreciation and a fiscal stimulus helped Japan recover from the persistent deflation Japan was going through since 1920s. "Takahashi Finance" is often cited as a success story Abenomics tried to emulate. However, the contemporary policy makers should also know how "Takahashi Finance" ended. After a few years of stability in 1930s, the Japanese government could not rebalance its finance and the yen weakened again as Japan marched into the war with China and eventually against Allies in the World War II.