The Straits Times
Published on Jan 06, 2013

Japan finance minister says won't insist on policy accord with BOJ


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso stressed on Sunday the need for bigger monetary and fiscal stimulus to revive the economy, but said the government will not insist on issuing a written policy accord with the central bank on a new inflation target.

New Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on the Bank of Japan to share a 2 per cent inflation target with the government, double the bank's current price goal, to show its determination to beat deflation. Under pressure, the BOJ will debate setting a higher inflation target at its next rate review on Jan 21-22.

Mr Aso said cabinet ministers will be able to discuss monetary policy regularly with BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa at the Council of Economic and Fiscal Policy, a top government panel that will kick off this week and meet at least once a month to map out long-term fiscal and economic policies.

"As long as there's talk (on monetary policy) at the council meetings, there's no need to issue a policy accord (with the BOJ)," Mr Aso told public broadcaster NHK.