Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda has indicated his desire to hold on to policy flexibility by playing down the importance of wages or any single economic dataset as a trigger for change.

"We aren’t targeting wage growth itself,” Ueda said Thursday in his first group media interview since assuming his role last month. "The key point for our policy decisions is whether inflation will rise in a stable and sustainable manner at 2%.”

Ueda’s remarks leave room for the bank to be nimble about how and when it will be convinced about the prospect of price gains, a stance that will leave speculators guessing about the timing of policy change.