The Bank of Japan is likely to adopt a gradual approach to raising interest rates, and won’t be too focused on reducing the side effects of monetary easing, according to a former board member.

"A March move is unlikely,” Makoto Sakurai said in an interview Tuesday. "They will be raising rates only gradually, by carefully assessing the underlying economy and inflation.”

That applies even after BOJ governor nominee Kazuo Ueda takes the helm of the central bank in April, Sakurai added. There’s little chance of a big policy shift at Ueda’s first policy meeting, he predicted.