Outgoing BOJ head warns of difficulty managing market expectations

TOKYO, March 19 Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:55am EDT

TOKYO, March 19 (Reuters) - Outgoing Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Tuesday central banks must respect communication with markets but in the end have to make monetary policy decisions that are most desirable for long term economic growth.

"What may be desirable for market participants may not be necessary the same as what is desirable for the economy in the long run," Shirakawa said in his last news conference as head of the central bank.

"I feel it is dangerous to believe that central banks can freely control market moves with words," he said.

Shirakawa will be succeeded by incoming Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who assumes the post on Wednesday.

The career central banker leaves the BOJ on Tuesday after a five year term during which he battled a serious of shocks such as the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, the euro-zone debt crisis and the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March 2011.

He was credited for protecting Japan's banking system from such shocks but failed to put a sustained end to Japan's chronic deflation, often criticised as acting too little too late.

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