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Political pressure to manipulate BOJ’s actions is unwise: Financial Times

JIJI

Politicians should not interfere with the monetary policies of the Bank of Japan, the Financial Times opined in an editorial Tuesday.

“Giving politicians the final say on bank policy is neither wise nor the solution to Japan’s economic woes,” the British newspaper said.

Politicians are putting increasing pressure on the BOJ for more easing to help rev up the nation’s flagging economy and overcome its protracted deflation in the run-up to the Dec. 16 House of Representatives election.

Among them, Shinzo Abe, chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, which is reported to be leading other parties heading into the election, has proposed that the BOJ take aggressive easing measures such as underwriting government bonds, the paper said, adding that he also wants to revise the BOJ law.

Abe’s sentiments “are even shared by members” of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan, it said.

But the paper said “all the signs are that the obstacles to Japanese growth go well beyond what monetary policy can fix.” It is “misleading” to blame Japan’s economic woes on the central bank, it said.

The economy “remains unreformed,” the paper said, pointing to a lack of competition in the services sector, the relatively few number of women in the workforce and the huge public-sector debts.