The Bank of Japan’s newest board member said she’s seeing a gradual emergence of upward price trends in the country that bears close watching, even as the bank holds its monetary stimulus in place.

Japan’s consumer prices "don’t look like they will stay around zero forever,” board member Junko Nakagawa said this week in her first interview with the foreign press since joining the bank in June. "The upward pressure is strengthening a little.”

Nakagawa’s comments suggest she and her colleagues see Japanese inflation starting to stir again, even as they stick to the view that it will take years for price gains to hit the bank’s 2% target.