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Japan keeps zero-0.1 pct rate, monetary easing unchanged.

| TOKYO, May 23 (KUNA) -- Japan's central bank on Wednesday decided to keep monetary policy unchanged in an effort to curb deflation in the world's third-largest economy.

At the end of a two-day policy meeting, Bank of Japan's (BOJ) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and his six board colleagues also voted unanimously to maintain the unsecured overnight call loan rate at a range of zero percent to 0.1 percent to support the country's economy.

"The BOJ recognizes that Japan's economy faces the critical challenge of overcoming deflation and returning to a sustainable growth path with price stability," the central bank said in a statement after the meeting.

The BOJ last month boosted its asset-purchase program by JPY 5 trillion (USD 63 billion) to JPY 70 trillion (USD 880 billion) in order to ensure the return of Japan's economy to a sustainable growth path with price stability.

"In global financial markets some nervousness has recently been seen, mainly due to concern about the European debt problem. Close attention should therefore be paid to developments in these markets for the time being," the BOJ said. As for the assessment of the domestic economy, the central bank said, "It has become increasingly evident that Japan's economy is shifting toward a pick-up phase, although its economic activity has remained more or less flat." The BOJ said the nation's economy is expected to return to a moderate recovery path as the pace of recovery in overseas economies picks up, led by emerging and commodity-exporting economies, and as reconstruction-related demand after the earthquake disaster gradually strengthens. However, it also pointed out risks to the economic outlook, such as a high degree of uncertainty about the global economy, including the prospects for the European debt problem and the momentum toward recovery for the US economy. (end) mk.rk KUNA 231120 May 12NNNN

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Publication:Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 23, 2012
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