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Some Bank of Japan board members believe that the impact of lower mobile phone charges will be a temporary price move, but they are vigilant against the impact of lower phone charges on inflation expectations, according to the minutes of the March 18-19 policy meeting released on Thursday.

"One member was of the opinion that, taking into account that it would take considerable time for the output gap to turn positive, it was difficult to envisage CPI inflation approaching the 2% target in the near future," the minutes said..

According to the minutes: "Some members expressed the view that, excluding temporary factors such as the decline in energy prices, the year-on-year rate of change in the CPI remained slightly positive, and that prices had been firm compared with the decline in economic activity."

"A few members expressed the opinion that price cuts that aimed at stimulating demand had not been observed widely. Meanwhile, one member noted that attention should be paid to the fact that indicators for capturing the underlying trend in the CPI had declined further."