Japan govt must discuss policy goals with new BOJ chief-Finance Minister Suzuki By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO-Japan’s Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki prepares to ring a bell during the New Year ceremony marking the open of trading in 2022 at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2

By Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) -A possible revision to a joint Japanese government and Bank of Japan (BOJ) statement that focuses on pulling the country out of deflation must be discussed with the new BOJ governor, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said.

“What to do with the statement is something the government must discuss with the new governor,” Suzuki told parliament on Friday, adding that it was premature to say whether it actually needs to be revised as the government has yet to nominate the new BOJ chief.

“But the goals mentioned in the joint statement, such as the need to pull Japan out of deflation and achieve stable economic growth, remain important policy challenges,” Suzuki said.

The remarks came as the government intensifies its efforts to select a successor to BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, whose second, five-year term ends in April.

Some analysts say a revision to the statement signed a decade ago would allow the BOJ to tweak its ultra-loose monetary policy more flexibly, and could heighten market expectations of a near-term end to its yield control policy.

Under strong pressure by then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to take bolder steps to beat deflation, the BOJ signed the joint statement with the government in 2013 and committed itself to achieve its 2% inflation target “at the earliest date possible”.

Some officials of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration are keen to revise the statement that focuses on steps to beat deflation – a goal that has become out of sync with recent rises in inflation, sources have told Reuters.

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