TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the impact of the Bank of Japan's monetary policy is gradually spreading to the real economy and that the nation was on its way to escaping deflation.

Downside risks to the global economic outlook are rising, Abe also said in a video message aired on Wednesday at a seminar in Tokyo organized by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

As Japan struggles to meet its 2 percent inflation target, the BOJ is planning to make its controversial negative interest rate policy the centerpiece of future monetary easing, the Nikkei business daily reported on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)