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The nation’s financial markets would have been in worse shape if the Bank of Japan had not adopted a negative interest rate, BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said, rejecting suggestions the new policy has been counterproductive.

“I really don’t think that the introduction of the negative interest rate backfired or caused the yen to appreciate and stock markets to decline in Japan,” Kuroda said during a question and answer session at Columbia University in New York. “If anything, I can say that if we didn’t introduce the QQE with the negative interest rate, financial markets in Japan would have been even worse.”

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