The Bank of Japan’s policy board agreed Tuesday to keep the nation’s current easy monetary policy unchanged, the central bank said.

The decision was made by a majority vote of the nine members, officials said. It was the fourth consecutive meeting at which the policymaking board made a decision by a majority vote, not a unanimous one. The latest vote indicates members are at odds over whether to keep the discount rate unchanged at a historic low 0.50 percent.

The key interest rate has remained at the current level since September 1995. The minutes of the latest meeting will be released Sept. 14.

The conflict over the official discount rate first arose at a policy board meeting June 12, at which two of the nine members opposed the central bank’s easy money policy, according to the minutes of the meeting. The fiscal dispute marked the first time the board failed to reach a unanimous decision on maintaining the BOJ’s monetary policy since it began meeting regularly on Jan. 16.

Toshio Miki and Nobuyuki Nakahara opposed a proposal by Chairman and BOJ Gov. Masaru Hayami that the central bank encourage the unsecured overnight call money rate to remain, on average, slightly below the 0.5 percent official discount rate, the minutes show. Miki urged the board to take measures to reinforce the central bank’s easy monetary policy in light of the current economic and financial situation, the minutes say.

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