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Japan's central bank has stumbled into a rare public relations storm that has dragged debate about its ultralow interest rates out of sterile boardrooms and into tabloid and social media, amid surging household ire over rising living costs.

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda issued an unprecedented public apology and retraction earlier this month after comments that households were more "accepting" of retail price hikes triggered a flurry of angry tweets.

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