One of the nine members of the Bank of Japan Policy Board opposed the central bank’s monetary stance and called for further cuts in a short-term interest rate at its meeting July 16, according to minutes released Friday.
Nobuyuki Nakahara’s objection marks the third time a policy board member has objected to the current monetary policy, following meetings June 12 and 25.
According to the minutes, Nakahara, a former president of oil refiner Tonen Corp., opposed keeping the unsecured overnight average call money rate slightly below the 0.5 percent official discount rate.
Nakahara said a 0.35 percent target should be set for the money rate, in light of the deteriorating economic condition, the minutes show. At the two previous meetings, Nakahara had proposed a 0.4 percent target.
The board rejected Nakahara’s proposal by a vote of 8-1 and decided to maintain the current unsecured overnight call money rate. The BOJ has left the official discount rate at a historic low of 0.5 percent for a year, since September 1995.
Most of the board members agreed the economy has further weakened but said the appropriate policy for the central bank would be to maintain its current position.
Some members questioned the efficacy of monetary measures in stimulating the economy under present conditions, saying a further lowering of the interest rate would be like “pumping gas into a broken engine,” the minutes indicate.
Others addressed concern that lower rates might cause certain “side effects,” such as depreciation of the yen, according to the minutes.
Other subjects the BOJ panel addressed included discussions on the feasibility of implementing a so-called adjusted inflation policy to help stimulate the lackluster economy. This plan was also rejected due to several uncertainties.
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