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Japan economy minister keeps up pressure on BOJ

Japan's Economics Minister Seiji Maehara arrives at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence for an extraordinary cabinet meeting
Japan's Economics Minister Seiji Maehara arrives at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence for an extraordinary cabinet meeting

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said on Friday he wanted to ask the central bank to pursue powerful monetary easing as the country remained in mild deflation.

"Central banks around the world are easing monetary policy. The BOJ itself set a 1 percent inflation goal in February but that hasn't been achieved," Maehara told a news conference after a cabinet meeting.

The BOJ is expected to ease policy next week by expanding asset purchases and may make a stronger commitment to continue pumping cash until 1 percent inflation is achieved, sources say, as slumping exports heighten pressure for bolder action to support an economy on the verge of recession.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Michael Watson)

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