UPDATE 1-BOJ newcomers back 2 pct price goal, say too early to debate stimulus exit

stimulus exit@

* Newcomers replace two members who opposed Kuroda's easing

* They may tip the balance in favour of governor's stimulus

* Kataoka known as a reflationist, Suzuki familiar with market

* Both vow that Japan will hit its 2 pct inflation target (Adds quotes, background)

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) - The two new members of the Bank of Japan's policy board said on Tuesday that the central bank should continue efforts to achieve its 2 percent inflation goal and it was premature to debate an exit from its massive monetary stimulus.

Goushi Kataoka, a 44-year-old former economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting and an advocate of massive money printing, said he wants to see the price goal achieved quickly although he cannot say when that can be.

The other new board member, Hitoshi Suzuki, a 63-year-old former deputy president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, who is well-versed with financial markets, said it was "dangerous" to markets to debate an exit from the stimulus now.

The two spoke at a joint news conference.

In May, Japan's Parliament approved the two government nominees for the nine-member BOJ board. They replaced Takahide Kiuchi and Takehiro Sato, whose five-year terms ended on July 23.

The newcomers' first policy-setting meeting will be on Sept. 20-21.


The departure of Kiuchi and Sato, who both disagreed with most of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's money-printing steps, means the BOJ may lose a counter-balance to the leader's radical policies.

The appointment of Kataoka could tip the balance more in favour of aggressive stimulus just as the central bank quietly retreats from its radical monetary experiments.

Little is known of Suzuki's stance on monetary policy, though he is considered unlikely to rock the boat given his background as a banker from one of Japan's top financial institutions.

The two men join just after the central bank pushed back the target for hitting its ambitious 2 percent price goal for the sixth time since Kuroda launched his huge asset-buying programme in 2013.

The BOJ now expects inflation will not hit 2 percent until sometime in the fiscal year ending in March 2020, while it raised its economic growth projections.

On July 20, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target of minus 0.1 percent and its 10-year government bond yield target of around zero percent. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Richard Borsuk)