Japan govt to consider revising joint statement with BOJ – sources

TOKYO : The Japanese government will consider revising next year a 2013 joint statement with the Bank of Japan (BOJ) that commits the central bank to meeting its 2 per cent inflation target “at the earliest date possible,” sources told Reuters.

The revision, if made, would be done after the appointment of a new BOJ governor in April, they said.

There is no consensus within the government on whether such a review is needed and if so, what changes could be made, as much will depend on the views of the new BOJ governor, said four government and ruling party officials with knowledge of the matter.

But some officials of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration are keen to revise the decade-old statement that focuses on steps to beat deflation – a goal that has become out of sync with recent rises in inflation, they said.

“Given we’ll have a new BOJ governor, there will likely be a new statement,” one of the government officials said. “But there’s no decision yet on what a new one could look like,” the source said. A second official echoed that view.

A third official said: “If the government sees the need to review the statement to better reflect the administration’s goals, there could be a review.”

All the sources spoke on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorised to speak publicly.

Discussions on the possible revision and the government’s selection of the next BOJ governor, will likely intensify next month, the sources said.

Kyodo news agency reported on Saturday that the government is set to revise the joint statement to make the BOJ’s inflation target a more flexible goal, with some leeway.

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