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Japan PM Abe voices hope BOJ will sustain bold stimulus

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shows a sign as he speaks at a business meeting organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shows a sign as he speaks at a business meeting organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed hope on Wednesday that the central bank will maintain its bold monetary stimulus to revive the economy and end deflation.

"Japan is making steady progress toward beating deflation and reviving the economy due in part to the BOJ's quantitative and qualitative monetary easing," Abe told parliament.

Asked whether additional monetary easing was necessary, Abe pointed to recent remarks by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda that the central bank "won't hesitate taking action" if risks to the economy threaten achievement of its 2 percent inflation target.

"I hope the BOJ will steadily promote bold monetary easing to end deflation and revive the economy," Abe said.

Abe also said he won't rule out seeking to revise a law that guarantees the BOJ's independence from political interference, although for now the priority is for the central bank to strive to meet its price target.

The BOJ offered an intense burst of monetary stimulus in April last year, pledging to accelerate inflation to 2 percent in roughly two years via aggressive asset purchases.

The central bank has stood pat since then but has signaled its readiness to ease again if unexpected risks derail Japan's economic recovery and threaten its price target.

(Reporting by Hitoshi Ishida and Leika Kihara; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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