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BOJ's Shirakawa: high growth stretch can cause imbalances

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor MasaakiShirakawa said on Tuesday attempts to maintain high growthbeyond a country's potential could cause various imbalances.

"The most important task for policy-makers is to achieve asmooth transition from high growth to stable growth," Shirakawasaid in a speech to participants of a tour the central bankorganised for delegates visiting Tokyo for the InternationalMonetary Fund meetings.

In a two-day policy review that ended last Friday, the BOJresisted political pressure for action and kept monetary policysteady, but left the door open to more monetary easing laterthis month by warning of looming risks to the outlook for theworld's third-largest economy.

Shirakawa said at a news conference after the meeting thatthe central bank will not link the timing of further monetaryeasing automatically to its price outlook, signalling thatfalling short of its 1 percent inflation target would notguarantee immediate policy action.

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that theBOJ's monetary easing last month should support economic growthand help end deflation, but more easing may be needed to hit thebank's 1 percent inflation target.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson)

((leika.kihara@thomsonreuters.com)(+813-6441-1828)(Reuters

Messaging: leika.kihara.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: JAPAN ECONOMY/BOJ

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