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     TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda Thursday maintained
his optimistic growth and inflation outlook for Japan's economy, indicating that
the central bank's overall assessment hasn't changed from September's policy
meeting.
     The key points of Kuroda's remarks:
     --The BOJ will examine the risks considered most relevant to the conduct of
monetary policy, making policy adjustments as appropriate, taking account of
developments in economic activity and prices as well as financial conditions,
with a view to maintaining the momentum toward achieving the 2% price target.
     --Japan's economy is expanding moderately, with a virtuous cycle in
operation from
income to spending. Japan's economy is likely to continue its "moderate"
expansion.
     --The year-on-year rate of change in the CPI (all items less fresh food)
is likely to continue on an uptrend and increase toward 2%, due mainly to an
improvement in the output gap and a rise in medium-to-long term inflation
expectations.
     --The governor didn't say when the BOJ is likely to anchor inflation
around 2%, as the board stopped publishing the estimated timing of achieving the
2% price target back in July.
     --The BOJ intends to maintain the current extremely low levels of short-
and long-term interest rates for an extended period of time, taking into account
uncertainties regarding economic activity and prices including the effects of
the sales tax hike in October 2019. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday
officially said that the government will raise the consumption tax rate to 10%
from 8% as scheduled in October 2019, and instructed his cabinet to "mobilize
all measures" to mitigate any damage to the economy. 
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
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MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com