Bank of Japan policy board members decided to forgo a further easing of monetary policy two months ago and wait to observe the effects of the government’s record stimulus package, according to minutes of their April 24 meeting released Wednesday.

According to the records, the nine-member panel met hours before the stimulus was unveiled and debated whether a further easing of interest rates would be the best move for the economy. Many members urged cautious study of such action. One member said upward pressure on interest rates would grow naturally once demand rises with the implementation of the pump-priming steps. Leaving monetary policy unchanged under such circumstances would have the same effect in the end, said the member, who was not unidentified.

Many talked of the need to take steps to encourage financial firms to lend but in the end most agreed the issue of lending by financial institutions could not be directly addressed through monetary policy. As a result, the board unanimously voted to maintain the current policy.

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