After introducing a series of unconventional measures to cope with the global financial crisis, the Bank of Japan now sees the need receding for some of the steps, signaling the time for the central bank to unwind its emergency funding steps is approaching.

While the central bank sidestepped a decision about what to do with its corporate debt purchasing programs at its two-day Policy Board meeting through Wednesday, BOJ Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa made it clear that even if the BOJ starts unwinding its emergency steps, it does not mean the beginning of a full-fledged exit and interest rate hikes.

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