BOJ Governor Kuroda’s comments at news conference

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The Bank of Japan unveiled a plan on Friday to boost funding for fighting climate change, in a surprise move underscoring the importance of the issue for central banks.

The BOJ also maintained its massive monetary stimulus to support the country’s economic recovery and extended a deadline for asset-buying and loan programs introduced last year to channel funds to pandemic-hit firms.

Following are excerpts from BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s comments at his post-meeting news conference, which was conducted in Japanese, as translated by Reuters:

PANDEMIC-RELIEF PROGRAMME

“The pandemic continues to severely affect Japan’s economy, and is exerting big downward pressure on service sectors. It will take some time for the economy to emerge from the pandemic, during which corporate funding will remain under stress.”

ON NEW CLIMATE CHANGE SCHEME

“Japan has pledged to aim for carbon-zero by 2050. The parliament and government are primarily responsible for measures to achieve this. But climate change has a very big impact on economy, prices and financial markets in the medium- to long-term … By creating this scheme, we can respond flexibly to changes in the external environment regarding climate change.

“The BOJ will also examine steps on climate change that is not directly related to monetary policy, too, and will announce the findings at an appropriate timing after our July policy meeting.” (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)