TOKYO -- Surprisingly, the most talked-about company at the Bank of Japan right now is a logistic company. A planned rate hike by Yamato Transport has raised hopes that Japan's largest parcel shipper will encourage other businesses to also raise prices and help the country achieve its longtime inflation goal.
Yamato's rate increase, the first in 27 years, is a welcome move for a central bank mired in a long-running fight against deflation. To preserve policy options for the long term, the BOJ last September introduced a new policy framework that centers around controlling the yield curve. The yen has weakened since last fall amid recovering crude oil prices and growing hopes for aggressive government spending in the U.S. Consumer prices in Japan rose slightly on the year in January as prices for materials, most of which Japan imports, increased.