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Bank of Japan policymakers said downside risks remained high and the bank should be prepared for a possible economic downturn. According to the summary of opinions at the monetary policy meeting, held on December 18 and 19, the risk profile associated with overseas economies has been changing to a situation where both downside and upside risks are starting to coexist but downside risks remain high. As the risks are skewed to the downside, the bank needs to examine whether additional easing is necessary and prepare for a possible economic downturn. The bank should not only conduct monetary policy but also enhance cooperation with the government in terms of fiscal and growth policies, members noted.
Members assessed that the Japan economy is set to continue on an expanding trend, although it is likely to be affected by the slowdown for the time being. At the December meeting, the Policy Board voted 7-2 to retain the interest rate at -0.1 percent on current accounts that financial institutions maintain at the central bank and to retain the yield target for 10-year Japanese government bonds at around zero percent.
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