Bank of Japan policymakers engaged in heated debate on the pros and cons of their decision in January to adopt negative interest rates, with one even saying it was preferable to roll it back, a summary of their opinions at the March 14-15 rate review showed on Thursday.
"It's preferable to roll back the negative rate policy. But abandoning it immediately after introducing it would cause market confusion and risk eroding trust in the BOJ. With the effects (of the policy) still not clear, we should maintain the policy," one of the nine board members was quoted as saying.
Another board member said rolling back the policy was "out of the question" as markets were already moving on the assumption that negative rates would remain in place, the summary showed.
The BOJ unexpectedly cut a benchmark interest rate to minus 0.1 percent in January as it stepped up its faltering efforts to revive growth and pull Japan out of years of deflation.