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BOJ to discuss corporate rescue at extra meeting Fri. amid pandemic

This file photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on Aug. 30, 2010, shows the head office of the Bank of Japan in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Bank of Japan said Tuesday it will hold an unscheduled monetary policy meeting on Friday to discuss steps to facilitate financing to small and midsize companies hit by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The central bank last held such an emergency meeting in November 2011 when its policymakers discussed responses to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

    At the upcoming meeting, the bank will discuss "a possible new measure to provide funds to financial institutions," it said in a statement.

    BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda last month instructed his officials to introduce a lending facility for the bank to provide funds to commercial lenders that extend interest-free, unsecured loans to troubled smaller firms and individual business operators. The move comes along with the government's initiative to that end.

    Many firms have seen sales losses since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in April declared a state of emergency, which remains effective for some large cities including Tokyo and Osaka where people are required to stay home and some businesses to shut.

    The BOJ last held a policy meeting on April 27 and was to hold its next meeting on June 15 and 16.

    In the April meeting, the BOJ additionally eased its ultra-loose monetary policy, introducing unlimited purchases of government bonds to provide ample liquidity to the banking system, among other steps.

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