TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan board member Takehiro Sato proposed changing the central bank’s assessment of prices to say that risks are tilted somewhat to the downside, rather than largely balanced, minutes of an April 30 policy meeting showed on Monday.
Sato’s proposal also called for changing the wording of the central bank’s price target to loosen its commitment to achieving its 2 percent inflation goal by the end of the next fiscal year.
Sato’s proposal was rejected by an 8-to-1 vote.
At a the meeting on April 30, the BOJ left policy unchanged and issued consumer price forecasts for fiscal 2016/17, which show it expects to comfortably meet its inflation target.
At a subsequent meeting on May 20-21, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda expressed such optimism in the economic outlook that some economists started scaling back their expectations for additional easing.
The central bank has stood pat on policy since launching an expanded quantitative easing in April 2013, when it pledged to accelerate inflation to 2 percent in roughly a year from now, via aggressive asset purchases in a country mired in deflation for 15 years.
Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Chang-Ran Kim