Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday and conveyed the central bank’s strong intention to achieve its inflation goal, which might cause it to take additional steps to boost the economy.
“There was nothing special,” Kuroda told reporters after visiting Abe at the prime minister’s office, denying Abe had asked him to ease monetary conditions further to achieve the goal of an annual 2 percent rise in consumer prices.
But Kuroda also said, “When needed, we (the bank) will adjust (our policy) without any hesitation.”
The BOJ aims to achieve the goal as part of the country’s efforts to beat nearly two decades of deflation, flooding the banking system with liquidity by purchasing government bonds and other assets from financial institutions.
The governor said the central bank is “steadily” on course but still “halfway” to attaining the goal.
Kuroda’s meeting with Abe came one year after the BOJ introduced the measure under his leadership as one of the main pillars of “Abenomics” to revive the Japanese economy.
The meeting, following ones in June and December, came as concerns linger about the possible negative impact on the economy of the April 1 sales tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent, amid fears of slowing household spending and business investment.
Kuroda also briefed Abe on discussions at the meeting last week of finance chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies in Washington, where Kuroda, along with Finance Minister Taro Aso, explained to other countries about the BOJ’s monetary stimulus as well as the sales tax hike aimed at restoring Japan’s fiscal heath.