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Bank of Japan Deputy Gov. Masayoshi Amamiya, one of the two leading candidates to become the next BOJ chief, says he sees wage gains getting stronger from next year, a comment that is likely to keep speculation smoldering of policy adjustments after Haruhiko Kuroda steps down.

“It is worth mentioning that further increases in wages, including base pay, can be expected from the next fiscal year onward,” Amamiya said in a speech Thursday. “Under these circumstances, together with a decline in the inflation rate, wage growth is projected to exceed CPI inflation.”

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