Japanese Finance Minister Naoto Kan on Monday exerted new pressure on Japan’s central bank to act more quickly to defeat deflation, saying he wants the falling price trend to end this year.
“Two or three years is too long. If possible, I hope that the consumer price index turns positive by the end of this year,” Mr. Kan told a parliament session.
His remarks were the first mention by the government of a time frame for trying to lift the country out of deflation, though he later slightly sugar-coated his comments by saying that the goal partly reflected his own “wishful thinking.”
Still, his stance suggests that the government could start calling for some new monetary easing action later this year from the Bank of Japan, which itself forecasts that weak domestic demand will mean that deflation will continue through the fiscal year ending in March 2012.