TOKYO, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Wednesday decided to maintain its ultra-easy monetary policy after a policy-setting conference in order to support the economy amid tough measures against COVID-19.
At the two-day meeting that ended Wednesday, the Japanese central bank decided to place short-term interest rates at minus 0.1 percent while keeping 10-year Japanese government bond yields at around zero percent so that borrowing costs remain cheap for companies and households.
Meanwhile, the BOJ will keep its purchase of exchange-traded funds as needed, setting an annual limit at 12 trillion yen (110 billion U.S. dollars).
On the overall assessment of the economy, the BOJ maintained its previous review, saying that it has "picked up as a trend, although it has remained in a severe situation" due to the impact of COVID-19.
In addition, the BOJ pointed out some impact of "supply-side constraints", even though overall exports and industrial output have continued to recover.
The Japanese central bank said it will keep supporting companies with financial problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic, making the funding accessible to the ones struggling.
Amid the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, the Japanese government was forced to extend a state of emergency in prefectures with relatively high infection numbers.
With the current emergency state slated to end on Sept. 30, the government is considering lifting it partially or entirely, according to the government officials.