BOJ Easing Will End and Normalize Eventually, Nishimura Says

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(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary easing will end eventually, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, while noting it was always meant to buy time for the country’s growth strategy.

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It remains to be seen when such a transition will begin, but amid global inflation the central bank’s policy will move toward normalization at some point, Nishimura said. His comments came at the start of a week when the BOJ is set to give its latest policy decision Friday. Polled analysts expect the central bank to keep its policy settings unchanged.

Nishimura is a high ranking official of a political faction that bears the name of late Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and was a key lawmaker behind Abenomics — a policy package created by Abe aimed at beating deflation with unprecedented monetary easing, fiscal stimulus and a growth strategy.

“The BOJ will decide on its monetary policy independently and I won’t comment on that,” Nishimura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. But “I’ve always maintained this thinking that monetary easing was to buy time so that the government could conduct its growth strategy and structural reforms and put the economy on a growth path.”

Concerning the upcoming economic support measures ordered by current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Nishimura said it’s important that the government introduce measures to help smaller companies improve productivity, and pass on costs to consumers so that they are better able to withstand any impact from higher interest rates. Nishimura also said he’d like to back companies trying to raise wages.

“I don’t know when that time will come, but we need to create strength in firms so that they can withstand the eventual rise in interest rates,” Nishimura said.

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