Liberal Democratic Party elements appear to be ratcheting up the pressure on the Bank of Japan to start cranking out more yen.

Heizo Takenaka, chief of economic and fiscal policy, said Thursday that the BOJ should discuss introducing an inflation target to fight deflation.

Inflation targets — or manipulating the supply of money to bring about a predetermined rate of inflation — have often been used by central banks trying to tame run-away inflation; if the BOJ acquiesces to the pressure, Japan would be the first to use the tool in the hopes of reversing a deflationary spiral.

“The BOJ has already taken the policy of moving toward introducing an inflation target implicitly,” Takenaka told the House of Councilors Committee on Audit. “They need to study how to make it clear and deepen discussions” on its advantages and disadvantages. He did not elaborate.

Some economists and ruling coalition lawmakers are calling on the BOJ to set an inflation target as a way to further ease its already ultra-easy monetary policy.

BOJ Gov. Masaru Hayami has rejected the calls, saying it is difficult to raise prices only with monetary policy and it is impossible and inappropriate to discuss inflation targeting now that short-term interest rates are close to zero. Despite bringing interest rates to virtually zero, the BOJ has had no success stemming price declines.

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