• Kyodo News


The Bank of Japan is considering holding an extraordinary policy meeting early this week to discuss further monetary easing to help stem the yen’s recent sharp rise, sources said Saturday.

By holding an emergency meeting before its regular session scheduled on Sept. 6 and 7, the BOJ could indicate it is cooperating with the government to address the yen’s appreciation and the country’s economic slowdown, the sources said. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he will outline fresh fiscal stimulus by Tuesday.

Kan said Friday he will meet with BOJ Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, who returns to Japan on Monday from the United States, where he attended an annual symposium sponsored by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The BOJ Policy Board last held such an extra session in May, when the central bank’s decision-making body decided to restart supplying dollar funds to the Tokyo money market at the height of the sovereign debt crisis in Greece.

This time, the BOJ could determine, among other options, to expand one of its lending programs, which is currently designed to provide ¥20 trillion as three-month loans to financial institutions at its policy interest rate of 0.1 percent, the sources said. The bank could increase the amount to ¥30 trillion and extend the lending period to six months.

While the BOJ has been under growing pressure from lawmakers to further ease its monetary policy and boost the economy, its policymakers may also discuss lowering its target rate of overnight call money to 0.05 percent from the current 0.1 percent and injecting more liquidity into the economy by increasing the purchases of government bonds and other assets.

The dollar has been trading around ¥84 to ¥85 after falling to a 15-year-low of ¥83.58 on Tuesday. The euro also touched its lowest point in nearly nine years against the yen.

A stronger yen makes exports less competitive.

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