© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk in front of the bank of Japan building in Tokyo, Japan, April 7, 2023. REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou
By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Yoshifumi Takemoto
TOKYO (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan (BOJ) should alter its massive monetary stimulus even though it may be painful for an economy accustomed to decades of ultra-low interest rates, the country’s former top currency diplomat Rintaro Tamaki said.
New BOJ Governor Kazuo Ueda currently has the “momentum” needed to make those changes though he needs to act within a year. Failure to act in that timeframe could mean the central bank risks dragging its feet on changing monetary stimulus, Tamaki said.
“I’m not saying Governor Ueda should immediately move at his first policy review next week,” Tamaki, now the president of Japan Center for International Finance (JCIF), a non-profit think tank, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“I hope he would demonstrate a stance towards changing the status quo. If he sits tight throughout a year, he would lose the momentum,” he said.
“We should be aware of the risk of the BOJ shelving a step towards monetary normalisation,” Tamaki added.
As a result, Japan would be left with distortions in bond, stock and real estate markets.
“To change YCC, you need some element of a little surprise,” Tamaki added, without elaborating further.
Speculation is rife in markets that the BOJ may alter or ditch its yield curve control (YCC) after Ueda assumed the helm of the central bank.