TOKYO Jan 22 The Bank of Japan on Tuesday
doubled its inflation target to 2 percent and adopted an
open-ended commitment to buy assets, surprising markets that had
expected another incremental increase in its 101 trillion yen
($1.12 trillion) asset-buying and lending programme.
The BOJ also issued a joint statement with the government in
which it set 2 percent inflation as its new target, although two
of the central bank's nine board members dissented against this
As widely expected, the BOJ maintained its overnight call
rate target at a range of zero to 0.1 percent by a unanimous
BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will hold an embargoed news
conference with his comments expected to come out some time
after 4:15 p.m. (0715 GMT).
The BOJ set a 1 percent inflation target in February last
year, and expanded monetary stimulus five times in 2012 through
an increase in its asset-buying and lending programme.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, has piled pressure on
the central bank to aim for 2 percent inflation as a medium-term
target and pledge to ease policy aggressively to achieve it.