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Japan PM reins in BoJ governor's inflation ambitions
Japanese premier Shinzo Abe has played down a pledge by the new central bank governor to do "whatever it takes" to meet his 2pc inflation target within two years, conceding that changes in the global economy could limit the Bank of Japan's powers to kick start the languid economy.

Newly installed Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda outlined an aggressive monetary policy plan aimed at kick-starting the deflation-dogged Japanese economy on Tuesday, vowing to hit an ambitious 2pc inflation target within two years.

"It is not easy to beat deflation, which has continued in Japan for 15 years. But the BoJ will use all options available and do whatever it takes to show markets its strong commitment," he told a parliamentary committee.

However his comments were swiftly curbed by the Japanese prime minister, who stressed that the inflation target should not be pursued "at all costs".

"The economy is a living thing, so we don't know what could happen in the future," said Mr Abe in the same committee.

"What's important is for the BoJ to make efforts toward its goal. If it can't meet the target, it has a responsibility to explain why. If it has a good explanation, that's fine,"

The central bank governor also faced accusations from an opposition politician that he relied too heavily on the psychological impact of bold monetary policy, as he avoided putting a figure on how much the economy would need to grow to drive inflation to the target level.

Mr Kuroda, who assumed office after winning parliamentary approval last month, is widely expected to usher in an era of "uber-easing" at the central bank, after years of conservative monetary policy under former governor Masaaki Shirakawa.

While he is considered a kindred spirit by Mr Abe, who stormed into power in December on a pro-growth ticket, the Japanese premier did not rule out revising a law which shields the central bank from government interference to monetary policy, should Mr Kuroda fail to meet his policy commitments.

Under a similar threat, Mr Abe pressed the BoJ into significantly loosening its monetary policy days after he swept into power in December.

All eyes will be on Mr Kuroda and his two deputies on Thursday as they emerge from their first policy-setting meeting. They are expected to switch to open-ended asset purchases and buy 2 trillion yen in bonds every month without setting a deadline, according to Reuters citing sources familiar with the central bank's thinking.

However, some central bankers, such as Mr Shirakawa, have warned that by buying too much in government bonds, the central bank can trigger a spike in bond yields by giving markets the impression it is monetising public debt.

New BoOJ Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata told Tuesday's parliament that it was important that Japan ensures its bond yields do not rise due to investors demanding an increased risk premium for holding debt.

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