The Bank of Japan could start normalizing policy as soon as the middle of next year, according to a recent former board member known for his strong support for aggressive monetary easing.

"It’s possible that inflation accompanied by wage growth will be confirmed by then,” said Goushi Kataoka, who left his position at the bank in July after a five-year stint. "But it’s a narrow path. It would almost be a miracle.”

The remarks from the former dovish outlier on the central bank’s board demonstrates how views on Japan’s inflation dynamics are shifting among some experts after more than a decade of deflation and price weakness.