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MNI 5 THINGS: BOJ Minutes: Must Watch Easing Costs, Benefits

     TOKYO (MNI) - Some Bank of Japan policymakers continued to argue that the
central bank must watch both the costs and benefits of its large-scale monetary
easing, although most of the nine board members also agreed the BOJ must
maintain easing "persistently," the minutes of the bank's Jan. 22-23 meeting
released Wednesday showed. 
     The BOJ board decided in an 8-to-1 vote to maintain its monetary easing
stance under the yield curve control framework it adopted in September in 2016.
It also maintained its medium-term growth and inflation projections, repeating
what many see as an optimistic outlook that the bank can hit the inflation
target "around fiscal 2019."
     The key points from the January minutes (little changed from December): 
     --Most members shared the view that the BOJ must carefully examine the fact
that corporate wage- and price-setting stances remained "cautious" but that the
momentum toward achieving the 2% price target is maintained. They also agreed to
"persistently" maintain the current easy policy.
     --Many members agreed that there was still "a long way to go" to achieve
the price stability target of 2% and that it is necessary to maintain the
current "highly accommodative financial conditions."
     --Some members pointed out that it is important to "continue to conduct a
multifaceted monitoring and assessment of the positive impact and side effects
of the current monetary easing policy - including its effects on the functioning
of financial intermediation and the financial system."
     --One member said that "in the course of the inflation rate increasing
toward 2% and the economy's medium- to long-term growth potential rising going
forward, the effects of monetary easing measures would be enhanced, therefore,
while taking into account such changes in the environment as well as the side
effects of the measures, it also might be necessary to consider what the
desirable policy conduct would be."
     --The board agreed that it was necessary for the BOJ to continue
communicating to the public, including overseas investors, that the amount and
timing of its Japanese government bond purchases are determined practically in
accordance with the guideline for market operations decided at policy meetings,
and that "the conduct of market operations have no implications for the future
monetary policy stance."
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email:
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email:

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