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TOKYO: Bank of Japan head Haruhiko Kuroda defended its decision to press ahead with the country’s ultra-loose monetary policy on Friday, even as the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank tighten their policies.

After a two-day meeting, the BoJ said it would retain its current framework, pointing to a disappointing lack of progress towards its longstanding 2.0 per cent inflation target.

It lowered its expectations for inflation this year to 0.5-1.0pc, from around 1.0pc previously tipped.

Speaking after the meeting, Kuroda said a persistent “deflation mind” was plaguing Japanese boardrooms and families, keeping the target he had hoped to reach by 2015 a distant goal.

“I believe the momentum remains intact for us to achieve the 2pc price (inflation) target,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2018