Bank of Japan expands asset-buying plan

The Bank of Japan launched fresh easing measures Thursday after wrapping up a two-day policy meeting as it faced heavy pressure for more stimulus to spur the world's third-largest economy.

The BoJ's move to expand an asset-buying programme - its main policy tool - by 10 trillion yen to 101 trillion yen came days after Japan's conservatives won an election promising to boost spending and pressure the central bank for aggressive policy action.

A flower is seen in front of the headquarters of the Bank of Japan in Tokyo December 20, 2012. The Bank of Japan eased monetary policy on Thursday by expanding its asset-buying and lending programme, a widely expected move in response to intensifying pressure from incoming premier Shinzo Abe to deliver bolder steps to beat deflation. Credit: REUTERS

The bank kept interest rates unchanged at between zero and 0.1 percent, but said it would look at reviewing its target inflation rate. - Sapa-AFP