Japanese central bank to provide more lending to spur economy
The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it would extend lending to financial institutions supporting growth sectors, in a bid to boost the economy in the aftermath of the March disaster, DPA reported.
The central bank was to introduce a new 500-billion-yen (6.2-billion-dollar) lending programme designed to prod financial institutions to invest in and lend to companies in such areas as the environment, energy, medicine and health care.
The bank "expects that today's decision will further enhance financial institutions' efforts to strengthen the foundations for economic growth through the use of a wider range of financial techniques," it said in a statement.
The bank last year introduced a 3-trillion-yen lending programme to support companies in such growth sectors.
The bank also voted Tuesday to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 0 to 0.1 per cent, as had been widely expected.
"Japan's economy continues to face downward pressure, mainly on the production side, due to the effects of the earthquake disaster, but is showing some signs of picking up," the bank said.
The March 11 earthquake and tsunami left more than 15,400 dead and 7,900 missing and the disaster also knocked out many manufacturing facilities and disrupted supply chains.