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Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday policymakers must keep a close eye on whether businesses can pass higher costs through to retail prices, as an improving economy will make it easier for them to do so. Addressing higher global prices, Kuroda said the global economic recovery is behind the recent rise in raw material prices.

Kuroda indicated that the BOJ's monetary policy will not be influenced the U.S. Federal Reserve if it moved up the timing of tapering, as "Japan is still far from the achievement of 2% price target and the BOJ must maintain easy policy for the time being. He warned that any Fed tapering, if realized, could weaken the yen from current levels.

He said the outlook for Japan's economy is brightening, but the BOJ must pay attention to the face-to-face service sector, although he noted that if the vaccine rollout accelerates, positive or forward-looking economic activity will strengthen. But Kuroda said that his remarks are his personal view, not the board view, and they don't affect monetary policy immediately as policy is determined by voting.