Deputy Bank of Japan Gov. Kazumasa Iwata has indicated in a speech in the United States that the central bank may be nearing the point where it will end its ultra-loose monetary policy.

“Now we have reached the stage where it can be said that a long time is not needed to satisfy the conditions to end the quantitative easing policy,” Iwata said in a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Aug. 27.

Iwata’s speech, posted on the BOJ’s Web site Monday night, has been taken to mean that BOJ policymakers are beginning to reach a consensus on ways to approach the end of the ultra-loose policy.

Iwata had been seen as being wary of ending the current monetary policy at an early date.

The BOJ has pledged to maintain the ultra-loose policy until the rate of year-on-year changes in the nationwide consumer price index “stabilizes above zero,” meaning prices will stop falling.

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