Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki voiced concern Tuesday over recent rises in long-term interest rates, saying sharp increases are detrimental to growth, especially when the economy is still suffering mild deflation.
Tanigaki declined comment on daily movements or specific long-term interest rate levels but indicated that recent rate increases may stem from market wariness about possible credit-tightening by the Bank of Japan after it ended its so-called quantitative easing policy last month.
He made the comments a day after the upbeat economic outlook, reflected in the central bank’s “tankan” business sentiment survey, lifted the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond to its highest level since Aug. 3, 2004.
Tanigaki said the results of the quarterly survey were in line with the government’s view that the economy is recovering, and that it will continue to expand due to growing domestic private demand.
But along with rising interest rates, he said high oil prices were a risk.
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