As shown in the Summary of Opinions at the December 19/20 meeting, BoJ board members sounded more concerned with global developments. The summary noted that “regarding the outlook for the global economy, risks have been tilted to the downside on the whole amid heightening uncertainties and a prevailing view that such situation will be protracted.”

Specially, it said “looking at the latest data on trade activities in China, both exports and imports marked negative growth on a month-on-month basis, which possibly indicates a deceleration in the Chinese economy”. For Japan, ” it cannot be said that the actual condition of restoration-related demand and production stemming from natural disasters has been strong”. Also, “recovery in exports to China has been weak, and exports as a whole also have shown weak developments.”

BoJ also maintained that “it is necessary to persistently continue with the current powerful monetary easing as the momentum toward 2 percent inflation is maintained.” And it warned that “trying to normalize monetary policy prematurely before achieving the price stability target could adversely strengthen the side effects.” The summary also noted that long-term yield should be allowed to “temporarily turn negative” and “move upward and downward more or less symmetrically from around zero percent”.

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Full BoJ Summary of Opinions

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