Japan panel expert sessions will not craft new ‘accord’ with BOJ -minister By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s new Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Shigeyuki Goto arrives at prime minister’s office in Tokyo, Japan October 4, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

By Kantaro Komiya and Tetsushi Kajimoto

TOKYO (Reuters) -The Japanese government’s top economic policy panel will invite eight economists, including an expert on inflation in Japan, to its upcoming special sessions to discuss the country’s long-term policies, Economy Minister Shigeyuki Goto said on Friday.

But the sessions will not draft new fiscal and monetary policy objectives to replace the 2013 “accord” between the government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ), Goto said, warding off some speculation of abrupt policy shifts in Japan.

The special meetings of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) will invite University of Tokyo Professor Tsutomu Watanabe, a former BOJ official known for his analysis of Japan’s price trends and monetary policy responses, among other economists.

Goto told a news conference that the sessions were not meant to discuss the BOJ’s exit strategy from monetary easing or craft a new accord between the BOJ and the government.

The government has internally considered to revise the accord, formally known as the 2013 “joint statement”, which has mandated Japanese policymakers to fight deflation, this year, sources have told Reuters.

Financial markets have bet that a weak yen, rising consumer prices and more political pressure from the government will force the central bank to finally drop its ultra-loose policy at the end of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s 10-year tenure this April.

The BOJ jolted markets last month by widening its 10-year yield cap range to allow rates higher, a move some investors saw as a prelude to a future rate hike.

The newly-appointed experts, who will join regular CEFP attendees such as Kuroda, cabinet ministers and four private-sector members, “will discuss a policy mix between fiscal and monetary policies,” Goto said.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last month announced the plan to convene the sessions to stimulate discussion into how to achieve a “virtuous cycle” of growth and distribution, before the government compiles its annual mid-year policy blueprint in the summer.

Launching the new sessions should help the world’s third largest economy tackle unprecedented difficulty in the face of a global economic slowdown and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine so as to achieve virtuous cycle of growth and wealth distribution, Goto said.

The experts also include Princeton University’s Nobuhiro Kiyotaki, Dai-ichi Life Research Institute’s Toshihiro Nagahama, Hitotsubashi University’s Motohiro Sato and Fujitsu Research Institute’s Martin Schulz, among others.

Goto also said he will attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 17-19 to explain Japan’s economic and fiscal policies as a panelist.

by : Reuters

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