TOKYO Nov 15 The head of Japan's main
opposition party, Shinzo Abe, said on Thursday he wants the Bank
of Japan to set interest rates at zero or below zero to enhance
Abe, pushing the central bank for bold easing steps, told
reporters he wants to work with the BOJ to reverse the trend of
yen strength as it hurts the competitiveness of small firms.
Abe's Liberal Democratic Party leads in public opinion
polls, putting him in a pivotal position to become the next
premier after a general election to be held next
The Bank of Japan is expected to hold fire at a meeting of
its policy board next week and may also defy market expectations
of action in December, pushing back any further monetary
stimulus until early next year to size up the policies of a new
government, sources say. It currently aims to keep its key rate
in a range of zero to 0.1 percent.