Finance ministers and central bankers from the world's 20 leading economies - 19 countries plus the European Union - pledged during a meeting here Saturday not to take part in "currency wars," saying they have negative effects on economic and financial stability.

The G20 members, in a joint final communique, promised to "refrain from competitive devaluation" and "resist all forms of protectionism and keep our markets open."

The ministers said "excess volatility of financial flows and disorderly movements in exchange rates have adverse implications for economic and financial stability."

Japan has been accused of purposely driving down the value of the yen to boost exports and drive economic growth, but the Asian country was not singled out for criticism Saturday by the other G20 members.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said this week the government's expansionist policies were needed to spur growth and denied any deliberate intent to weaken the yen, which has depreciated by 25 percent and 17 percent relative to the euro and the dollar, respectively, since November.

The International Monetary Fund said on Friday that fears of a global currency war are overblown and expressed support for the Japanese government's economic policies. EFE