TOKYO (MNI) – Shinzo Abe, head of the main opposition party, repeated his
call on the Bank of Japan to take additional monetary easing action, in order to
help beat deflation, guide the yen weaker and promote sustained growth.

“We want to conduct monetary policy boldly, by taking into account the
possibility of revising the Bank of Japan Act,” Abe, who is considered to be a
strong candidate for the new prime minister after general elections on Dec. 16,
told reporters.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house on Friday as
promised earlier this week.

On Thursday, Abe said the biggest concern for Japan is prolonged deflation
and a strong yen and called for “unlimited” monetary easing by the BOJ and a
reduction in the policy rate to zero or below zero from the current range of
zero to 0.1%.

Recent remarks by the ring-wing politician spurred expectations for more
pro-active monetary easing by the BOJ, sending the yen to Y81.46 against the
dollar on Thursday, the weakest level since April 25, when it stood at Y81.69.

“We now expect one or two more monetary easing measures by the Bank of
Japan before Governor Masaaki Shirakawa’s term ends (in April),” said Chotaro
Morita, chief strategist at Barclays Capital Securities Co.

Meantime, Abe also said he would oppose to an idea of joining Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations as long as abandoning all tariffs are set
as a precondition for the participation, in order to defend national interest of


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