His bluntness does serve two broader purposes, however. First, Kuroda is underscoring that not every institution is a carbon copy of the Fed, Bank of England or even the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The hawkish thrust that looks set to define 2022 has important exceptions. China announced its first rate reduction in almost two years Monday, minutes before figures showed a marked slowdown in growth at the close of 2021. Japan, like China, is doubling down on its tussle with Covid-19, while other powers move toward a kind of co-existence. The government is poised to put greater Tokyo and other parts of the country under a state of quasi-emergency for several weeks, according to national broadcaster NHK. Second, Japanese policy makers would probably be relieved at the prospect of inflation approaching, let alone breaching the target. Pushing the pace of price increases higher has been an objective for the better part of three decades. The BOJ’s failure to do so on a sustained basis has contributed to the caricature that Japan is destined for long-term decline. If the global tide leads to a pickup in inflation and requires restraining the economy, that’s fine. Don’t get in the way.