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BOJ chief aims to help business 'return to normal'

Central bank extends COVID emergency funding through March 2022

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said “The outlook on the economy has become more positive than before.” (Photo by Koji Uema) 

TOKYO -- The Bank of Japan decided on Friday to extend its emergency programs to funnel funds to businesses by six months, through the end of March, as the central bank remains on alert for a possible COVID resurgence that could throw the nation's economic recovery off track.

At issue were the BOJ's purchases of corporate bonds and commercial paper as well as one-year interest-free loans to banks supporting COVID-hit businesses. The programs, launched in March 2020, are intended to complement the government's initiative to keep small- and medium-size enterprises afloat with policy loans and credit guarantees.

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