BOJ debated weak yen, warned of harm from excess moves at April meeting

The yen's rapid decline was among key topics of debate at the Bank of Japan's April policy meeting with some board members fretting that excessive volatility could disrupt corporate business plans, minutes of the meeting showed on Wednesday.

But many board members stressed the need to maintain the BOJ's massive stimulus programme to support a still-fragile economy, the minutes showed, a sign they saw no need to tweak Japan's ultra-low interest rates to stem the yen's slide.

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The BOJ must communicate to markets its monetary policy aims at achieving price stability, not at controlling exchange rate moves, some members were quoted as saying.

"A few members said excessive fluctuations in the foreign exchange market over a short period of time, such as those observed recently, would raise uncertainties about the future and make it more difficult for firms to formulate their business plans," the minutes showed.

One member said a weak yen benefited the economy at a time like now, when the output gap was still large and underlying inflation was "extremely low."

At the April 27-28 meeting, the BOJ strengthened its commitment to keep interest rates ultra-low by vowing to buy unlimited amounts of bonds daily to defend its yield target, triggering a fresh sell-off in the yen.

The weak yen has become a fresh challenge for Japanese policymakers as it hurts the economy by inflating already rising costs of importing fuel and raw material goods.


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