The Bank of Japan is the central bank of Japan. It is a juridical person established based on the Bank of Japan Act (hereafter the Act), and is not a government agency or a private corporation.
The Act sets the Bank’s objectives “to issue banknotes and to carry out currency and monetary control” and “to ensure smooth settlement of funds among banks and other financial institutions, thereby contributing to the maintenance of stability of the financial system.”
The Act also stipulates the Bank’s principle of currency and monetary control as follows: “currency and monetary control by the Bank of Japan shall be aimed at achieving price stability, thereby contributing to the sound development of the national economy.”
The Bank of Japan was established under the Bank of Japan Act (promulgated in June 1882) and began operating on October 10, 1882, as the nation’s central bank. The Bank was reorganized on May 1, 1942 in conformity with the Bank of Japan Act (hereafter the Act of 1942), promulgated in February 1942. The Act of 1942 strongly reflected the wartime situation: for example, Article 1 stated the objectives of the Bank as “the regulation of the currency, control and facilitation of credit and finance, and the maintenance and fostering of the credit system, pursuant to national policy, in order that the general economic activities of the nation might adequately be enhanced.” The Act of 1942 was amended several times after World War II. Such amendments included the establishment of the Policy Board as the Bank’s highest decision-making body in June 1949.
The Act of 1942 was revised completely in June 1997 under the two principles of “independence” and “transparency.” The revised act (the Act) came into effect on April 1, 1998.
According to its charter, the missions of the Bank of Japan are
- Issuance and management of banknotes
- Implementation of monetary policy
- Providing settlement services and ensuring the stability of the financial system
- Treasury and government securities-related operations
- International activities
- Compilation of data, economic analyses and research activities