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BOJ's stealth taper: Bond holdings shrink for 1st time under Kuroda

Still struggling to reach 2% inflation, Japan's central bank quietly tackles risk

The Bank of Japan building in Tokyo: The BOJ's government debt holdings have fallen for the first time since 2008. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan's government debt holdings have fallen for the first time in 13 years as the central bank quietly adjusts its massive bond-buying program in the face of looming financial risk.

The BOJ's balance of Japanese government bonds totaled 521 trillion yen ($4.49 trillion) at the end of 2021, according to data released Wednesday, down 14 trillion yen from a year earlier.

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