LDP hits proposed BOJ Law revisions

Lawmakers of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party gave low marks Feb. 14 to proposed revisions to the Bank of Japan Law, saying the central bank needs to be held more accountable to the Diet.

A majority of members of the LDP’s finance division and its Committee on the Finance and Banking Systems said at a joint meeting that the planned revisions do not force the bank to be more responsible for its decisions regarding monetary policy. A report on suggested revisions to the decades-old law was drawn up earlier this month by an advisory body to the finance minister. It recommended the BOJ be given more autonomy in policymaking and called for galvanizing the status of its Policy Board as its highest decision-making organ.

The revisions were a response to criticism that the government, especially the Finance Ministry, was controlling BOJ decisions. “But the report fails to clearly state how the BOJ will be responsible to the Diet,” some LDP members said after the meeting in a prepared statement.

The ministry hopes to submit a bill to revise the BOJ Law by March 11, the deadline if it is to be fully debated during the current Diet session, but some LDP lawmakers said the issue needs to be discussed further before it can be brought to the floor.