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MNI (London)
     TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan has taken necessary and sufficient policy
measures now but will not hesitate to take additional easy policy if needed,
Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday.
     "The BOJ will consider additional easy policy if economic activity and
prices weakened," Kuroda told reporters at a briefing following the
extraordinary policy meeting.
     The bank can deepen the short-term interest rate from -0.1% if needed, but
the focus now is on corporate financing, which has been hit by the coronavirus,
he added.
     Kuroda said that the BOJ needed to move up the regular policy-setting
meeting to quickly counteract volatile and unstable markets and tighter
corporate financing conditions.
     The BOJ board decided to enhance the easy policy, such as increasing the
scale of asset purchases and introducing new operation to support corporate
     Other points from Kuroda's remarks:
     --It is uncertain when the coronavirus outbreak will end, but the virus
will be a temporary phenomenon, and demand and production will pick up once it
wanes as infrastructure isn't damaged.
     --The virus is expanding around the globe with a time lag. The virus
appears to be moving toward an end in China, where the virus first appeared. 
     --Economic growth in China in Q1 is expected to be weak, but its economy is
likely to improve in Q2.
     --However, Kuroda was uncertain if the global economy would recover sharply
and he doesn't expect to see a big economic slump but low economic growth will
likely continue for a while.
     --Foreign exchange rates should move stably reflecting economic
fundamentals of each nation.
     --When asked about the drop in the Nikkei stock index, despite the BOJ's
easy policy, Kuroda said you should ask to market players if you want to ask
about market reaction. The Nikkei stock index ended at 17,002.04, down 429.01,
or 2.46%, from Friday's close.
     --The BOJ has pledged to inject ample liquidity regarding the yen and
dollar. He believes the policy decision will have effects.
     --Downward pressure from the sharp drop in crude oil prices will increase
but Japan's inflation rate will not fall into negative territory, Kuroda said.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-2175-0040; email:
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2225; email:
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