TOKYO Feb 18 The Bank of Japan kept monetary
policy steady on Tuesday and maintained its upbeat assessment on
the economy, unfazed by recent signs of slackening momentum in
growth and signalling that any additional stimulus may be some
The central bank also decided to extend three special loan
facilities by one year from their scheduled expiry at end March.
The facilities had been cobbled together between 2010 and 2012
as a way to drive funds through the banking sector to borrowers.
As widely expected, the BOJ voted unanimously to maintain
its pledge of increasing base money, its key policy gauge, at an
annual pace of 60 trillion to 70 trillion yen ($589-$687
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold an embargoed news
conference from 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) with his comments expected
to come out any time after 4:15 p.m. (0715 GMT).
The BOJ has stood pat since launching an intense burst of
stimulus last April, when it pledged to accelerate inflation to
2 percent in roughly two years via aggressive asset purchases in
a country mired in deflation for 15 years.