After more than three years of pumping out cheap money that has failed to secure its inflation target, the Bank of Japan has signaled a rethink.

Instead of buying yet more government bonds, cutting interest rates or pushing further into uncharted territory, the BOJ disappointed some Friday when its policy meeting concluded with only a modest adjustment.

Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, 71, and his colleagues declared it was time to assess the impact of their policies, which have spurred strong criticism from bankers, bond dealers and some lawmakers and former BOJ executives. The next gathering, on Sept. 20 and 21, will offer a chance to either provide greater evidence that the current framework should continue, head further into uncharted territory, or scale back.