Business

Abe: Central bank governor has met expectations

TOKYO Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday called on central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda to keep up efforts to reflate the economy but added he was undecided on whether to reappoint Mr Kuroda for another five-year term.

Mr Kuroda was handpicked by Mr Abe to take the helm of the central bank in 2013 to deploy a stimulus programme - part of "Abenomics" reflationary policies - that helped boost growth but failed to drive up inflation to the bank's target of 2 per cent.

Mr Abe also said the government would continue to work with the central bank to boost growth, so that he could declare an official end to deflation at the earliest date possible.

"Governor Kuroda has met my expectations with job availability at a 43-year high," Mr Abe said on public broadcaster NHK.

"I want him to keep up his efforts. But I haven't made up my mind," on who should succeed Mr Kuroda when his term ends in April, Mr Abe added.

Many analysts see a good chance that Mr Kuroda will be reappointed when the government selects successors to him and his two deputies in the coming months, decisions that need Parliament's approval.

Mr Abe said Japan's economy was showing signs of emerging from deflation, with a tightening job market pushing up wages.

"We'll deploy all available policies so that we can declare an end to deflation at the earliest date possible.

"It might not necessarily be this year, but the government and the BOJ must fulfil their responsibilities," he added, so as to ensure conditions to bring about an end to deflation.

The government looks at several factors, such as inflation data and the output gap, in determining whether the economy is sustainably out of deflation. Japan's economy expanded for the seventh straight quarter in July to September, boosted by robust exports and capital expenditure. - REUTERS

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