Bank of Japan board members discussed the possibility of pursuing a faster pace of policy normalization amid ongoing risks that the weak yen’s effect on inflation might force a response by the bank, according to minutes from the April policy meeting.

"Some members pointed out that exchange rates were one of the important factors affecting economic activity and prices, and that monetary policy responses would be necessary” if currencies affect the inflation outlook, including spurring upside risks, according to the minutes released Wednesday.

The minutes signal the potential for a BOJ rate hike as early as July even as market speculation for such a move has cooled somewhat after the bank last week said it would specify next month how it plans to reduce bond buying.