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BOJ commits to very low rates at least through spring 2020, keeps policy steady


TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady on Thursday and clarified its intention to keep interest rates very low for a prolonged period, committing to do so at least through around the spring of next year.

In a widely expected move, the BOJ maintained its short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent.

"The BOJ intends to maintain the current extremely low levels of short-term and long-term interest rates for an extended period of time, at least through around spring 2020," the BOJ said in a statement announcing its policy decision.

Until now, the BOJ did not have a specific time frame on how long it would maintain very low rates.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the policy decision.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara, Tetsushi Kajimoto, Stanley White and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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