INTERVIEW: Shirakawa Sought Flexibility in 2013 BOJ-Govt Statement

Society Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 24 (Jiji Press)--As Bank of Japan governor 10 years ago, Masaaki Shirakawa was keen to ensure the flexibility of monetary policy when the BOJ and the Japanese government drew up a joint statement including a 2 pct inflation target in January 2013, the former central bank chief has said.

"The biggest challenge was to ensure flexibility, so that we would not have to pursue the 2 pct target mechanically," Shirakawa said in a recent interview with Jiji Press.

Shirakawa, currently a visiting professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, noted that he put all his efforts into avoiding a situation in which the BOJ is forced to adopt a rigid monetary policy focused solely on prices while the 2013 joint statement is viewed as a "policy pact" with the government.

Now, some in the government are calling for a review of the joint statement. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a speech late last year that it was "too early at this stage" to conduct such a review, adding, however, "That's an issue to tackle after we decide the next BOJ governor."

Incumbent BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is slated to end his term in April, and the government is expected to name his successor next month.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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