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2% target achievable if bolstered by policy efforts: Ishida

Kyodo

Bank of Japan Policy Board member Koji Ishida said Monday the central bank can attain its 2 percent inflation target and pledged the BOJ will carry out “large-scale” credit-easing for that purpose down the road.

“I believe (the inflation target) is fully achievable if the Bank of Japan promotes powerful monetary easing and efforts by a variety of entities to bolster Japan’s economic competitiveness and growth,” Ishida said in a speech in Utsunomiya.

The consumer price index “is likely to reach 1 percent on a monthly basis around the end of fiscal 2014,” Ishida said, implying he expects the CPI will rise to 2 percent after fiscal 2015, which starts that April, at the earliest.

The BOJ’s first regular policy meeting under new leaders is scheduled for April 3 and 4.

Some BOJ board members, however, are skeptical about whether the 2 percent inflation target can be achieved and reluctant to implement measures that could forcibly push up prices, indicating Haruhiko Kuroda, the nominee to be the next BOJ governor, and his new deputies may find themselves at odds over how aggressively the bank will act.

BOJ Policy Board member Takahide Kiuchi, a former private-sector economist, told reporters late last month that it is desirable for prices and wages to increase “in a balanced manner” on the back of economic growth.