BOJ pressed for deflationary moves

Bloomberg, Kyodo

Bank of Japan minutes show the government pressing for “visible results” from efforts to end decade-long deflation that is weighing on the nation’s recovery from last year’s earthquake and economic contraction.

The BOJ should “conduct monetary policy flexibly and decisively,” a Cabinet Office representative said at a April 9-10 policy meeting, according to a record of the gathering released in Tokyo Monday. It’s “particularly important” to promptly achieve a central bank goal of 1 percent inflation, the official said.

From the Cabinet Office, Senior Vice Minister Katsuyuki Ishida and Vice Minister for Policy Coordination Kenji Matsuyama attended the meeting, but the minutes do not specify who made the remarks.

The BOJ refrained from taking fresh policy steps during the meeting on April 9 and 10, but it eased its monetary policy on April 27 amid growing pressure from ruling and opposition camp lawmakers urging the bank to do more to fight deflation.

A strengthening yen may add pressure for BOJ Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa and his Policy Board to add to easing after expanding their asset-purchase program by ¥10 trillion on April 27.