Japan's Abe: specific monetary steps for BOJ to decide

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November 30, 2012 4:21 PM EST

Japan opposition leader Shinzo Abe said on Friday he would leave it to the central bank to decide on specific ways to achieve its policy objectives.

"If I become prime minister, I won't comment on specific monetary policy measures, as they should be decided by the BOJ," Abe said in a joint debate of party leaders.

Abe is seen as the front runner to become prime minister after an election for parliament's lower house on December 16, which polls suggest his Liberal Democratic Party will win.

Abe has called for more aggressive monetary easing to revive the economy, including through extreme steps such as seeking negative interest rates or setting a higher inflation target. But he has recently toned down his demands after they were criticised by BOJ policymakers and lawmakers of other parties as unrealistic.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson)

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Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters UK. All rights reserved.

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