The Bank of Japan’s Policy Board has agreed to keep its monetary policy unchanged, the central bank said Wednesday.The decision, adopted by a majority vote of the board’s nine members, reflects a view shared by most financial experts that there is little room for another interest rate cut to spur the crippled economy.The board appears to have opted to monitor the effects of last month’s credit easing and recently enacted bank recapitalization legislation rather than take any new action.At a board meeting Sept. 9, the BOJ decided to guide the unsecured overnight call money rate from slightly below 0.5 percent to around 0.25 percent — its first easing of monetary policy in three years. During Wednesday’s meeting, board members are believed to have discussed measures other than rate cuts for providing more liquidity to money markets.Board member Yasuo Goto said earlier this month that the BOJ should consider measures that will have a more direct monetary-easing effect on corporate finances than conventional steps. While supporting the September rate cut, he proposed the board consider cuts in bank reserve ratios as well as in the official discount rate, which has been at an unprecedented low of 0.5 percent since September 1995. Managers from BOJ branches nationwide said earlier this week that the effect of the rate cut has had little impact on regional economies. Nagoya branch Manager Yasuhiro Harada said the effect of the credit easing has yet to become visible in the Tokai area and that the move has not resolved the credit crunch, a view shared by most of the branch managers.
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