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Morimoto Says BOJ to Implement Unprecedented Stimulus in 2013

BOJ Board Member Yoshihisa Morimoto
Yoshihisa Morimoto, Bank of Japan board member. Source: Pool via Bloomberg

The Bank of Japan will implement unprecedented monetary stimulus this year, BOJ board member Yoshihisa Morimoto said, in comments that suggest he may think enough is being done to end deflation and revive growth.

“This year, we will be implementing unprecedentedly large monetary easing,” Morimoto said today in a speech in Kochi, southern Japan. Japan’s monetary base is the highest among advanced countries at 27 percent of nominal gross domestic product, he said.

The central bank last month adopted a 2 percent inflation target without a deadline and said it would delay open-ended asset purchases until 2014. Investors are trying to assess Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s commitment to ending more than a decade of deflation as he prepares to nominate a successor for BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa.

“With this wording, Morimoto wants to show that the BOJ is doing enough,” said Mari Iwashita, a bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. in Tokyo.

The yen reversed a slide after Morimoto’s comments, and was trading 0.1 percent higher at 93.52 per dollar at 12:42 p.m. in Tokyo.

The central bank currently buys securities such as government bonds and exchange-traded funds through a fund targeted to reach 76 trillion yen ($814 billion) in assets in December 2013. It also has a credit loan program worth 25 trillion yen and a facility for unlimited lending to banks.

The target of all the bank’s easing programs exceeds 120 trillion yen, Morimoto said.

Shirakawa will step down on March 19 with his two deputies.

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