The Bank of Japan should drop its 2 percent inflation target and should not further expand its program of massive monetary easing, Internal Affairs Minister Seiko Noda, a long-shot to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said in an interview.

The "desperate" introduction of all sorts of policies to reach a specific inflation level was "back to front," Noda said Wednesday. "It will go to 2 percent by itself if the economy improves," she added, saying failure to reach the goal was due to lack of growth in consumption and wages.

Noda, 57, who plans to run against Abe in September's vote for leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said monetary policy was one of her biggest differences with the prime minister. Despite Abe working with the central bank for five years in pursuit of the inflation goal, prices are only rising at about half that rate.