The Straits Times
Published on Dec 20, 2012

Under-pressure Bank of Japan launches fresh easing


TOKYO (AFP, REUTERS) - The Bank of Japan (BoJ) on Thursday ramped up its offensive to power the world's third-largest economy as it faces heavy pressure from the country's incoming government to loosen monetary policy.

The move to expand an asset-buying programme - its main policy tool - by 10 trillion yen (S$145 billion) to 101 trillion yen came days after the conservative Liberal Democratic Party won a weekend election promising to boost spending and pressure the central bank for aggressive action.

The BoJ's last scheduled meeting of the year had been widely seen as a test of its resilience to outside pressure.

The soon-to-be ruling party's strongarm tactics may have played a role in the BoJ's latest easing since the government has the power to appoint senior bank officials, said Keiji Kanda, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research.