Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Shizuo Kambayashi/AP)

The Bank of Japan had to intervene in bond markets Friday, stepping in to buy $6 billion in Japanese government debt after bond yields jumped 0.05%, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Japan has been fighting off deflation for decades, as its economy has struggled from the effects of a shrinking workforce, among other issues. To boost growth, the Japanese central bank has made an explicit commitment to keeping borrowing rates low.

Why Trump won't like it: There is a fine line between managing interest rates — all central banks buy and sell government debt to do so — and currency manipulation. Trump has singled out Japan as a country he considers to be engaged in currency devaluation, and will have the opportunity to air his grievances when Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister, visits Washington on February 10th.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 20,452,313 — Total deaths: 745,530— Total recoveries: 12,640,013Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 5,187,611 — Total deaths: 165,831 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Harris previews dual role in debut speech: Attacking Trump and humanizing Biden

Sen. Kamala Harris began her first speech as Joe Biden's running mate excoriating President Trump for his "mismanagement" of the coronavirus and scorn for the racial justice movement, before quickly pivoting to how she came to know Biden: through her friendship with his late son Beau.

Why it matters: The debut speech on Wednesday underscored the dual roles that Harris will take on for the rest of the campaign — humanizing Biden during a moment of national crisis and "prosecuting" the case against Trump as a failed president.

1 hour ago - Health

The two sides of America's coronavirus response

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America's bungled political and social response to the coronavirus exists side-by-side with a record-breaking push to create a vaccine with U.S. companies and scientists at the center.

Why it matters: America's two-sided response serves as an X-ray of the country itself — still capable of world-beating feats at the high end, but increasingly struggling with what should be the simple business of governing itself.