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     TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda held a routine
one-hour lunch meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday to compare
notes on economic and financial conditions between key international meetings.
     The previous similar meeting between the two policymakers took place on
Dec. 5, 2017.
     Kuroda returned Monday from a weekend meeting of the Group of Seven finance
ministers and central bank governors in Whistler, Canada. Abe is scheduled to
meet U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ahead of the G7 summit in
Charlevoix, Quebec on Friday and Saturday.
     Japan's economy had a slow start to the April-June quarter, judging from
April industrial production and household spending data, after it posted the
first contraction in about two years in the first quarter as the severe winter
weather dampened consumption. Economists expect a GDP rebound in Q2.
     At its next meeting on June 14-15, the BOJ board is expected to decide in a
majority vote to maintain its interest rate targets under the yield curve
control policy framework.
     Last week, Kuroda said central banks in advanced economies must analyze the
mechanism behind the slow response of prices and wages to economic expansion.
     "As the adverse effects from the Global Financial Crisis (of 2007-2008)
subside, the unemployment rate has dropped in many countries and the real
economy has improved substantially, partly due to the effects of large-scale
macroeconomic policies," Kuroda said in his opening remarks to an international
conference hosted by the BOJ.
     "Despite these improvements in the real economy, prices and wages have
remained sluggish. This phenomenon has recently been labeled the 'missing
inflation' or 'missing wage inflation' puzzle."
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com