NAGASAKI, Japan Jan 31 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hirohide Yamaguchi said on Thursday that the central bank's monetary easing is never taken as a measure to directly weaken the yen.
"I will not rule out the chance of BOJ easing indirectly affecting currency moves and weakening the yen, but we do not take policy steps aimed at directly affecting exchange rates," Yamaguchi told a news conference after meeting with business executives in Nagasaki, southern Japan.
The BOJ this month doubled its inflation target to 2 percent and switched to an open-ended commitment to buying assets next year, responding to intense pressure from new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for bolder efforts to deflation.
A career central banker, Yamaguchi is a key figure to watch for signals on the future direction of monetary policy. Markets count him among board members more eager to ease aggressively when needed to support the economy. His five-year term as one of the BOJ's two deputy governors ends on March 19.