A Bank of Japan policymaker has suggested that there may be a delay in the country's economic recovery.
The bank's Deputy Governor, Wakatabe Masazumi, cited the impact of the spread of coronavirus variants.
Wakatabe made the remarks at a news conference on Wednesday. He said, "We had expected the economy to recover due to progress with vaccinations. But recovery may come later than expected as downside risks remain."
Wakatabe also said corporate performance mainly among manufacturers remains firm. He doesn't think the entire economy is slumping further.
But he said if that happens, the central bank would have to consider new monetary measures to deal with it.
The Deputy Governor also referred to the bank's decision to introduce a new measure to provide funds for efforts by private financial institutions to tackle climate change.
He said natural disasters could put downward pressure on the economy and impact commodity prices.
He said using monetary policy to fight climate change doesn't contradict the bank's mission, in view of ensuring sustainable economic development and building a robust economy.