Japan ruling party head candidate Kishida says BOJ must sustain current easy policy

FILE PHOTO: Japan
FILE PHOTO: Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership candidate and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida attends a debate for the LDP leadership election in Tokyo, Japan September 12, 2020. Charly Triballeau/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan must maintain an ultra-loose monetary policy as the economy now faces a "state of emergency" caused by the coronavirus pandemic, former foreign minister Fumio Kishida, who is challenging Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in the race for ruling party chief, said on Thursday.

"Many countries are signalling that they will maintain expansionary fiscal and monetary policy steps for the time being. Japan must not fall behind," Kishida told a news conference, stressing the need for the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to keep interest rates low.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)

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