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Economy

BOJ will squeeze policy meeting into a single day

Central bank adopts social distancing after ruling out teleconference

A BOJ policy meeting in September 2017: Social distancing is not part of business as usual at Japan's central bank.

TOKYO -- The Japanese central bank will cut its next policymaking meeting short to one day instead of two and take other steps to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection at the closed-door talks.

Bank of Japan policymakers will convene on April 27, the BOJ said. On the agenda will be unlimited buying of Japanese government bonds and a doubling of purchases of corporate debt, Nikkei has learned.

BOJ policy meetings are held in close quarters, with the bank's nine-member board and two government representatives sitting around the same table. The windows in the conference room do not open and the doors are shut for security reasons, according to a bank source, making the room almost hermetically sealed.

More than 20 BOJ staff members are usually present to provide handouts and explain them. For next week's gathering, their ranks will likely be greatly reduced.

A videoconference was considered as an alternative to in-person talks, but this option was dropped on information security grounds.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. and is expected to conclude around noon.

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