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Give the BOJ a break

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NEW YORK - It’s too soon to write off the Bank of Japan.

The central bank has been a frequent target of criticism after two decades of ultraeasy money failed to achieve a full recovery in the world’s third-largest economy. The latest carping comes after the BOJ cut its inflation outlook again on Wednesday, extending a record of overestimating price growth in its projections.

The fault-finding is unfair. The country is better off with loose money than without, though this is hard to see on a month-to-month basis. Things might be considerably worse if the central bank took a different approach.

The setbacks the BOJ faces are shared by other major central banks: inflation going the wrong way and a less ebullient international outlook. Officials everywhere have spent considerable time lately weighing these challenges.

On a deeper level, BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda is battling historical currents that might be beyond the reach of monetary policy. They reflect decades of psychological change in Japanese society about the direction of prices and the economy in general. That........

© The Japan Times