January 27, 2015 / 2:41 AM / 5 years ago

Japan's Amari: BOJ may have leeway in meeting inflation target

Japan's Economics Minister Akira Amari, who retained his post after a cabinet shuffle, arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Tuesday that the Bank of Japan could have some leeway in meeting its 2 percent inflation target, given declines in oil prices.

Amari, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, also said neither the government nor the central bank has been committed to a rigid timeframe in achieving the price goal.

Cheap oil compounds the challenge for the BOJ’s aim of hitting its 2 percent inflation goal around the coming fiscal year that starts in April, which analysts see as impossible to achieve.

Last week, the central bank sharply cut its inflation forecast, and Governor Haruhiko Kuroda conceded it may take longer than expected to hit the price target.

Reporting by Hitoshi Ishida; Writing by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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