Bank of Japan board member Takehiro Sato proposed changing the central bank’s assessment of prices to say that risks are tilted somewhat to the downside, highlighting skepticism within the board that Japan would be able to decisively beat off deflation in a year’s time.
The minutes of the April 30 policy meeting released on Monday showed Sato had also called for changing the wording of the central bank’s price target, suggesting a loosening of BOJ’s commitment to achieving its 2 percent inflation goal by the end of the next fiscal year.
The proposal was rejected by an 8-to-1 vote, with the BOJ maintaining its stance that risks to prices are finely balanced. However, Sato’s views highlight the lingering uncertainty about the price target that could cause the central bank to alter its bullish forecast later in the year.
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