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Japan central bank eases monetary policy

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s central bank has further eased its super-loose monetary policy, following the government’s emergency currency intervention earlier in the day.

The Bank of Japan’s policy board voted unanimously Thursday to expand an asset purchase program to 50 trillion yen ($638.3 billion) from 40 trillion yen.

It kept its key interest rate range at zero to 0.1 percent.

Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa shortened the normally two-day meeting to one day. In a statement, he expressed support for the intervention to weaken the yen, which approached record highs against the yen this week.

The central bank has faced increasing pressure from the government to cooperate in bolstering the economy and stemming the yen’s climb.

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