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The Bank of Japan has nearly exhausted its policy ammunition for boosting the economy, as deepening negative interest rates — seen as the most likely step if it were to expand stimulus — will do more harm than good, former BOJ Deputy Gov. Toshiro Mutoh has said.

Under a policy dubbed yield curve control (YCC), the BOJ guides short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent and long-term rates around 0 percent via huge asset buying in hope of hitting its 2 percent inflation target.

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