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The Bank of Japan board stood pat on monetary policy despite the latest emergency measures to check Covid infections saying there is downside risk for the economy for the time being but that the risk is gradually balanced for the middle of the projection period.

The BOJ also kept its forward guidance for policy rates unchanged and said it will not hesitate to take further easing measures, if necessary. The decisions were widely expected.

Under the yield curve control framework adopted in September 2016, the BOJ will keep the target for the overnight interest rate at -0.1%. The bank will purchase the necessary amount of JGBs without setting an upper limit so that 10-year JGB yield will remain at around zero percent. The BOJ also left the scale of its annual purchases of exchange-traded funds and Japan real estate investment trusts unchanged with the upper limit of about JPY12 trillion and about JPY180 billion, respectively.