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The Bank of Japan Policy Board on Wednesday decided not to change its easy credit policy, the bank announced.

The decision was made by a majority vote of the nine-member policymaking board, headed by Gov. Masaru Hayami.

The lack of unanimity suggests that at least one board member objected to maintaining the policy.

On Feb. 12, the board voted to guide down the unsecured overnight call money rate — a key short-term interest rate — initially to 0.15 percent and then even lower depending on market conditions.

Leading up to the last meeting, the central bank had been under intense pressure from government officials, economists and U.S. financial authorities to stem the rise in long-term interest rates by underwriting new government bonds or stepping up the BOJ’s outright purchase of outstanding government bonds.

The BOJ, which is adamantly opposed to both ideas, shocked many by choosing to guide down the overnight rate from 0.25 percent to near zero.

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