The Bank of Japan should nimbly end its negative interest rate policy with minimum fuss, an economics professor and former adviser to an economic panel for the prime minister has said.

"Of course it’s time for the BOJ to normalize policy,” Hiroshi Yoshikawa, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said in an interview Tuesday. "Measures from the negative rate to yield curve control have all been characterized as ultraeasy policy. But we’re not in a situation where we need them anymore.”

The comments from Yoshikawa, a friend of BOJ Gov. Kazuo Ueda for more than five decades, come with the central bank chief widely tipped to raise rates for the first time since 2007 in March or April. Even with the economy in a technical recession, the BOJ is facing hardly any signs of opposition to scrapping its negative interest rate as the strongest price growth in decades weighs on households and businesses.