January 14, 2013
(AP) Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa says the central bank will persist in easing monetary policy as it works to pull the country out of its deflationary slump.
Shirakawa noted risks from the European debt crisis and continued tensions with China over a territorial dispute that are inhibiting investment by Japanese manufacturers and other businesses.
Japan's currency, the yen, has slipped against the U.S. dollar and euro in recent weeks, helping relieve pressure on manufacturers whose competitiveness and profitability have suffered partly due to the currency's prolonged appreciation. But so far prices remain flat, indicating scant progress toward escaping deflation.
In announcing a 20 trillion yen ($225 billion) economic stimulus package last Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated his calls for the central bank to do more to boost growth.