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Former Kuroda colleague says BOJ to ease in June or July

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The Bank of Japan is likely to expand monetary stimulus either in June or July with an eye on first-quarter gross domestic product data and the outcome of a G7 summit this month, Takatoshi Ito, a prominent academic with close ties to BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda, said on Thursday.

[TOKYO] The Bank of Japan is likely to expand monetary stimulus either in June or July with an eye on first-quarter gross domestic product data and the outcome of a G7 summit this month, Takatoshi Ito, a prominent academic with close ties to BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda, said on Thursday.

"Various inflation indicators are mixed. If all of them weaken and stock prices fall, the BOJ won't hesitate to ease," Mr Ito, currently a professor at Columbia University, told Reuters.

Mr Ito, a former senior finance ministry official, also said whether Japan conducts yen-selling intervention would depend on whether it can convince Group of Seven countries, particularly the United States, that yen rises were excessively volatile.

"Japan would at least need informal consent by G7 nations if it were to intervene. It won't be able to intervene when there is strong resistance by the United States," he said.

Mr Ito, who worked under Mr Kuroda when the two were senior officials at Japan's Ministry of Finance, retains regular contact with the BOJ governor and frequently moderates panels Mr Kuroda appears including one in New York held last month.

REUTERS