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BOJ's Kuroda - ready to act if tax rise threatens 2 percent price goal

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks during a group interview at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday that the central bank stands ready to take further monetary easing steps if a planned sales tax hike or other risks derail the economy on its path to achieving the bank's 2 percent inflation target.

But for now the central bank sees no need to take additional stimulus steps, with Japan's economy and prices moving in line with its forecasts, Kuroda told a news conference.

"Japan's economy is likely to continue recovering moderately as a positive cycle of output, income and expenditure kicks in," he said.

The BOJ declared the world's third-largest economy is recovering as it voted on Thursday to maintain its monetary stimulus, offering a more upbeat view than last month on growing signs that the benefits of its expansionary policy are broadening.

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