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Japan banks welcome BOJ's rate restraint

TOKYO -- Banks and life insurers breathed a sigh of relief after the Bank of Japan chose not to escalate its negative rate policy, but they are not completely out of the woods, since the central bank has left the door open to further rate cuts down the road.

"I believe that the BOJ passed on the idea of moving interest rates further into negative territory because it sincerely felt our [difficult] situation through market reactions and dialogues with financial institutions," Katsunori Nakanishi, chairman of the Regional Banks Association of Japan, said in a Wednesday news conference.

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