BOJ's Shirakawa: won't tie policy timing to price outlook

TOKYO, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said on Friday that the central bank will not link the timing of further monetary easing automatically to its price outlook, signalling that falling short of its 1 percent inflation target would not guarantee immediate policy action.

"What's important is whether the economy is performing in a way that allows for consumer price inflation to head toward 1 percent as a trend," Shirakawa told a news conference.

The BOJ kept monetary policy steady on Friday despite mounting political pressure for action as sagging exports to China and Europe heighten the chance of a recession, preferring to hold fire for now to assess the effect of last month's stimulus.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara and Stanley White; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Chris Gallagher)