Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda doesn't need to convince people like Kazue Shibata that deflation brings problems, but getting them to believe that higher prices will make conditions better is a harder sell.

Shibata, 65, who runs a small dress shop in central Tokyo, worries the BOJ's mission to achieve an inflation rate of 2 percent could end up driving business away unless people also have more money in their pockets.

"If prices rise, people might not buy as much," she said, echoing a concern of many private-sector economists.