* Risk aversion behind current yen moves - Shirakawa
* BOJ to continue efforts to beat deflation - Shirakawa
By Leika Kihara
TOKYO, May 24 Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki
Shirakawa stressed on Thursday the central bank's resolve to
maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy, but ruled out easing
solely for the purpose of weakening the yen.
Shirakawa said there was no clear historical evidence that
an expansion in Japan's monetary base leads to a weaker yen,
countering views that the central bank can directly push down
the yen by pumping more money into the economy.
"The biggest factor affecting currency moves now is
investors' risk aversion," Shirakawa told a lower house
parliamentary committee, stressing that monetary policy alone
cannot influence yen moves.
The BOJ eased monetary policy in February and set an 1
percent inflation target to show its determination of beating
deflation that has plagued Japan for more than a decade.
It followed up with more monetary easing in April but has
remained under political pressure for further action to support
the economy and ease the pain from a stubbornly strong yen.
Having pledged to pursue powerful monetary easing until 1
percent inflation is in sight, the BOJ will continue efforts to
beat deflation with its asset-buying programme, its key monetary
easing tool, Shirakawa said.