[TOKYO] The Bank of Japan unexpectedly eased monetary policy on Friday in a 5-4 vote, due to concerns that a decline in oil prices would weigh on consumer prices and delay a shift in sentiment away from deflation.
The central bank decided to increase the pace at which it expands base money to about 80 trillion yen (US$726 billion) per year. Previously, the BOJ targeted an annual increase of 60-70 trillion yen.
The BOJ also decided to increase its purchases of government debt by about 30 trillion yen and extend the average duration of JGB holdings to around 10 years.
The BOJ also decided to triple its purchases of exchange-traded funds and Japan real estate investment trusts.