Toru Fujioka
For Toru Fujioka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. The central bank incurred record valuation losses on its government bond holdings in the first half of the current fiscal year due to rising long-term interest rates.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 29, 2023
BOJ’s paper loss on bond holdings balloons to record $71 billion
The loss isn’t likely to deter Ueda from paring back stimulus if the bank’s inflation goal is achieved. Still, it’s an indication of the challenges ahead.
Core consumer prices in Japan rose 2.9% in October from a year earlier, staying above the Bank of Japan's 2% target for the 19th straight month as products seeing price hikes continued to broaden.
Nov 24, 2023
Japan inflation quickens, clouding price outlook for BOJ
A weak yen has been a key driver behind high import costs, as it has stayed near a 33-year low against the dollar in recent months.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. The central bank has yet to step into the real estate investment trusts market this year, after purchases every year since 2010 to help lower risks in the property market.
Nov 22, 2023
BOJ pulls back from risk asset buying in sign of normalization
The lack of buying comes amid simmering speculation that the Bank of Japan will scrap its negative interest rate and control of government bond yields.
Pedestrians walk past an electronic board displaying various companies' share prices, in a business district in Tokyo on Oct. 31.
BUSINESS / Economy
Nov 20, 2023
Japan’s fiscal advisory board warns of impact of higher rates
Even small changes could have a large impact given rates are so low and Japan has the largest public debt load among developed economies.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. The yen unexpectedly weakened after the central bank loosened its grip on bond yields Tuesday.
Nov 1, 2023
BOJ’s Ueda gets reality check on yen in march to normalization
The yen unexpectedly weakened after the central bank loosened its grip on bond yields Tuesday.
The Bank of Japan is holding a two-day policy meeting through Tuesday.
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 30, 2023
Ueda faces market fallout risk as BOJ mulls yields, prices and yen
In a sign of just how fraught the discussions on policy may be, BOJ officials are likely to monitor yield movements until the very last minute.
The International Monetary Fund says it sees no factors for Japan to intervene in the foreign exchange market to support the yen.
BUSINESS / Markets
Oct 16, 2023
IMF sees no conditions for Japan to intervene in currency market
Whether Japan will intervene to support the yen has been a key focus lately, with the currency staying near ¥150 per dollar.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. BOJ officials responded in July to upside risks to inflation by essentially raising the upper limit for 10-year bond yields, in the first surprise move under Gov. Kazuo Ueda.
Oct 6, 2023
BOJ may review easing and guidance this month, ex-official says
The central bank faces a recent rise in yields, the yen’s slide and inflation consistently coming in stronger than expected.
Bank of Japan board members discussed progress toward their inflation target and the need to put together an exit strategy in their September policy meeting.
BUSINESS / Economy
Oct 2, 2023
BOJ board members see price goal progress and need to plan exit
The comments are likely to strengthen expectations among BOJ watchers that the central bank will adjust policy in early 2024.
Bank of Japan officials view Gov. Kazuo Ueda’s scholarly communication style as the most obvious difference from the previous governor.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 19, 2023
Ueda abandons ‘shock and awe’ on path toward BOJ normalization
BOJ officials view Ueda’s scholarly communication style as the most obvious difference from the previous governor.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 13, 2023
BOJ watchers bring forward rate hike forecasts on Ueda’s remarks
Economists moved forward their forecasts for an end to negative interest rates after the BOJ chief touched on that possibility in an interview.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. A board member with the central bank Naoki Tamura has hinted that officials might be able to confirm some time early next year they’ve hit the goal needed to usher in policy change.
Aug 30, 2023
Leading BOJ hawk hints at chance of policy shift in early 2024
"The achievement is finally and clearly within sight after a decade of large-scale monetary easing aimed at attaining it,” board member Naoki Tamura said.
The Bank of Japan's inflation outlook doesn’t reflect reality, according to one of the country’s leading experts on prices.
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 29, 2023
BOJ’s outlook doesn’t reflect reality, key price expert says
While the bank sharply raised its price outlook last month, it was still kept too low, said University of Tokyo economics professor Tsutomu Watanabe.
Christine Lagarde (left), president of the European Central Bank, Kazuo Ueda, governor of the Bank of Japan (center) and Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, at the Jackson Hole economic symposium in Moran, Wyoming, on Friday
BUSINESS / Economy
Aug 27, 2023
BOJ chief says strategy backed by below-target inflation
Gov. Kazuo Ueda said price growth remains slower than the central bank’s goal, explaining why officials are continuing with their current strategy.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks to reporters at the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday.
Aug 23, 2023
Kishida under pressure to spend even as debt costs rise
The prime minister pivoted away from his previous stance Tuesday by scrapping September-end plans to stop subsidies that cap gasoline prices.
The Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo. Some economists see the central bank’s loosening of restraints on 10-year bond yields as a message to the government that it now will have to do financial management responsibly, because the BOJ won’t control yields as firmly as it used to.
Aug 4, 2023
Japan’s fiscal plight draws scrutiny after BOJ policy tweak
Tokyo seeking to expand spending on defense and child care, even as the national debt has grown to almost 260% of gross domestic product.
The headquarters of Bank of Japan in Tokyo. The central bank has sharply raised its inflation forecast for this fiscal year and sees risks on the upside for this year and next.
Aug 1, 2023
No further BOJ policy shifts expected in 2023 after surprise tweak
A survey last week found 26% of 41 economists see next April as the most likely time for further adjustments.
Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda has repeatedly pushed back against the idea that a major pivot on policy is looming by emphasizing his doubts about the sustainability of price rises.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jul 25, 2023
BOJ set to stick with easing as markets see clock ticking on yield control
Since taking the helm in April, Gov. Kazuo Ueda has repeatedly pushed back against the idea that a major pivot on policy is looming.
Japan Times
Jul 19, 2023
Tokyo traders await June inflation data ahead of BOJ policy meeting
Consumer prices excluding fresh food and energy costs have seen price gains hovering close to a high of more than four decades.
Japan Times
Jul 14, 2023
BOJ to tweak yield control this month, ex-official says
Hideo Hayakawa, who is also a former BOJ chief economist, said that the central bank must raise its inflation outlook for this fiscal year to match reality.


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