Some members of the Bank of Japan Policy Board voiced concern at a Sept. 11-12 meeting that the yen’s recent rise could hurt Japanese exports, according to minutes released Thursday.
“Some members raised the recent appreciation of the yen as a risk factor for developments in exports, and emphasized the importance of exchange rate stability,” the minutes say.
Yet board members agreed that, while exports and production have remained virtually flat overall, the probability that they will gradually recover is high.
Against this backdrop, the BOJ decided at the meeting to leave its money market operation outline unchanged; it kept its target for the outstanding balance of current account deposits held by private financial institutions at the central bank at 27 trillion yen to 30 trillion yen.
One member dissented, however, arguing that the BOJ should raise the target range to around 30 trillion yen to 35 trillion yen.
Apparently referring to Toshikatsu Fukuma, the minutes quote the member as saying “the bank should take a pre-emptive policy stance . . . should clearly indicate its strong determination to continue the quantitative easing policy not only by communicating its thinking to market participants but also by actually raising the target range.”
At a Policy Board meeting last week, the central bank expanded its target range to 27 trillion yen to 32 trillion yen.
Following this decision, the outstanding balance of current account deposits held by private financial institutions at the central bank rose above 30 trillion yen for the first time.
The balance stood at 30.98 trillion yen Wednesday, up 1.19 trillion yen from the previous day.
According to the minutes, several board members said the government bond market had remained unstable as a whole, though it was showing signs of stabilizing.
As for the outlook, some members said that long-term interest rates could become more unstable given that financial institutions’ risk-taking capacity has been constrained by risk-management measures.
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