The Bank of Japan on Monday started the process of buying ¥1.2 trillion worth of long-term government bonds under its new monetary easing program to flood the financial markets with cash.
The central bank plans to buy ¥6.2 trillion worth of government bonds with maturities of over five years in five rounds of market operations this month, kicking off an asset-buying binge designed to stoke 2 percent inflation in two years.
After announcing that bond purchases had commenced on Monday, JGB futures shot up in the afternoon, prompting the Tokyo Stock Exchange to briefly suspend trading to settle the turmoil.
The BOJ had been buying around ¥2 trillion worth of government bonds under its asset-purchase program and some ¥1.8 trillion worth each month via regular market operations to provide extra liquidity.
Under its new unorthodox framework, the BOJ terminated the asset-purchase program for unified bond buying through market operations, and decided to purchase more than ¥7 trillion worth of JGBs each month, which is expected to lower long-term interest rates.
In May, the bank plans to purchase ¥7.44 trillion worth of bonds in six rounds of market operations.