TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan likely won’t be able to exit its massive stimulus program while inflation is hovering below 1 percent, Takatoshi Ito, an academic who is a potential candidate to become the next BOJ governor, said on Wednesday.
“What’s important is for inflation to accelerate, which would give (the BOJ) quite some flexibility in guiding monetary policy,” Ito, a Columbia University professor, told a seminar in Tokyo.
The BOJ has already laid the groundwork for normalizing monetary policy by revamping its policy framework last September and gradually slowing its bond purchases, though raising its yield targets would be some time away, he said.
“While inflation is hovering below 1 percent, it would be hard for the BOJ to exit (from ultra-loose monetary policy),” said Ito, who is considered a candidate to succeed BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda when his five-year term ends in April next year.
Reporting by Leika Kihara and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Minami Funakoshi