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Japan's Kuroda pledges to cut rates further if needed

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda.

TOKYO -- Future expansions of monetary easing by the Bank of Japan will focus on taking negative rates deeper into minus territory and lowering the long-term interest rate operating target, BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech Monday.   

The statement to regional business leaders in Osaka punctuates the BOJ's policy shift away from a focus on quantitative easing. The central bank last Wednesday announced that it will draw from a specific basket of policy tools to achieve the stubbornly elusive 2% inflation target. Those tools include cuts to the short-term negative policy rate, reducing the target level for long-term rates, larger asset purchases and accelerating expansion of the monetary base.

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