A top Bank of Japan official said it’s hard to see the bank raising its policy rate continuously and rapidly even after the negative interest rate is ended.

"Even if the bank were to terminate the negative interest rate policy, it is hard to imagine a path in which it would then keep raising the interest rate rapidly,” BOJ Deputy Gov. Shinichi Uchida said Thursday in a speech to local business leaders in Nara Prefecture.

He said that after the bank ends the negative rate policy, financial conditions will remain easy, and he foresees any policy moves thereafter as occurring at a gradual pace.