Japan PM Abe: BOJ's mandate is to keep prices stable at 2 pct

TOKYO Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:40pm EST

TOKYO Feb 18 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday the central bank's 2 percent inflation target aims not just to boost prices but to prevent them from rising well above that level.

"The BOJ has pledged to keep ultra-easy monetary policy until its 2 percent goal is achieved," Abe told parliament.

"The price goal also means the central bank will aim to keep prices stable at 2 percent," he said, adding that it is the BOJ's responsibility to unwind its ultra-loose policy at the right time if there are signs prices will rise to unwelcome levels well above 2 percent.