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Bank of Japan Gov. Masaru Hayami on Tuesday denied reports that he told former Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa that he intended to resign.

“I am in perfect health. I have never expressed any intention to resign,” Hayami told a regular news conference Tuesday.

Rumors flared up last month that the governor intended to resign. Central bank officials acknowledge that the 76-year-old governor had talked of cutting his term short for health reasons, and the reports continue, despite repeated denials by Hayami and government officials.

In response to questions about whether he intended to serve out his term, Hayami hedged.

“There is no way of saying,” Hayami said. “It’s no mistake that I am old. I would like to continue to do my best to fulfill my duties as governor.”

According to BOJ officials, Hayami decided to remain at his post following Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s unexpected election, which threw into doubt the selection of Toshihiko Fukui, chairman of the Fujitsu Research Institute, as Hayami’s successor.

Meanwhile, Hayami said the BOJ does not intend to increase outright purchases of long-term government bonds from the market despite recent difficulties in injecting targeted sums of liquidity into the banking system through its market operations.

He said these difficulties show that sufficient funds have been supplied to the market.

The BOJ recently failed several times to attract targeted bids in operations to supply the target amount of cash under its easy monetary policy.

It is willing to increase outright purchases of government bonds from the current 400 billion yen a month if it believes the smooth supply of liquidity is being hindered.

The central bank has avoided this step, which could increase calls for the bank to finance the government’s debt issues.

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