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Highlights: BOJ Governor Kuroda comments at news conference

(Reuters) - The Bank of Japan surprised global financial markets on Friday by expanding its massive monetary easing as economic growth and inflation have not picked up as expected after a sales tax hike in April.

Following are comments from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at his post-meeting news conference:

FRIDAY’S POLICY DECISION

“Now is a critical moment for Japan to emerge from deflation. That’s why we expanded QQE.”

“Today’s step shows our unwavering determination to end deflation.”

INFLATION EXPECTATIONS

“Japan is different from countries like the United States, which has inflation expectations anchored at 2 percent. Actual price moves have a big impact on inflation expectations. If actual price rises slow, it hurts momentum. There was a risk that despite having made steady progress, we could face a delay in eradicating the public’s deflation mindset.”

“It’s important for the BOJ to strongly commit to achieving its price target to get its price target firmly embedded in people’s mindset.

“We’ve pledged to do whatever it takes to achieve our 2 percent inflation target at the earliest date possible.”

Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Chris Gallagher

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