The yen continued at its recent lows in early foreign exchange trading on Tuesday, falling to an eight year low on the pound and remaining near a four-year low against the dollar.

Sterling traded at ¥240.85, the highest point since 1998, at $1.9785 and at 65.36p on the euro. The dollar rose to ¥121.70, approaching the ¥121.80 it last reached in 2003.

The yen has been punished on the markets since the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced that it would be leaving its ultra-low borrowing costs unchanged at the end of last week.

"There's not a lot of factors to trade on this week, so it looks like the focus is going to stay on rate differentials," Takehiko Jimbo of Mitsubishi Bank told Reuters.

Minutes of the (BoJ) meeting released this morning revealed the political pressure applied to the bank, with ministers delivering a warning about the economy's downside risks.