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Stronger Yen has people scrambling for dollars

Date Posted: 2008-11-14

Japanese are capitalizing on the plight of the American dollar, rushing to buy the beleaguered currency in hopes of making a little extra money.

The yen, which for many years held fairly stable at approximately Y100 per $1, is now hovering in the ¥96-98 range, and Japanese are snapping up all the dollars they can get, netting a profit. The demand has been so high, some stores and currency exchanges have placed a $200 purchase limit.

Businesses dealing with Americans aren’t pleased with the situation, though, saying they’re losing money with the current rates. Restaurants are prohibited from changing their prices listed in dollars. One restaurant says 80% of its customers are Americans, noting “because the yen rate went up, I can’t change the price for drink or foods.” Drinks going for ¥700 are $6, a far cry from when the prices were pegged against a $1=¥107.

Authorized on-base taxi drivers say they’re losing money now, because its fares were established when the rate was $1=¥109-110. While they once made money by accepting dollars, drivers now say “we wish they will pay us in yen.”

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