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     TOKYO (MNI) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday that the
BOJ will patiently maintain its easy policy to achieve the 2% price target while
keeping a close eye on associated risks.
     "Profits at regional banks are in a process of falling on the back of a
prolonged low interest rates. But they have sufficient capital bases and are
actively implementing lending," Kuroda told lawmakers.
     "Looking ahead, structural elements, such as the falling population and the
number of companies, will put downward pressure on banks' profits and (the BOJ)
needs to carefully examine the risks," Kuroda added.
     However, he didn't elaborate on how and when the BOJ would cope with the
risks.
     BOJ officials continue to analyse the current climate of economic and
financial conditions, including the risks and the side-effects of easy policy,
and the BOJ will show the results in the Financial System Report due out on
April 17.
     The BOJ board will review the risks and the side-effects of easy policy in
addition to the outlook for economic growth and inflation rate at its two-day
policy setting meeting scheduled for April 24-25.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email: hiroshi.inoue@marketnews.com
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email: les.commons@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,MMJBJ$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 | les.commons@marketnews.com