Japan Govt, BOJ Hold Meeting ahead of Virus Emergency

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)--Senior officials of Japan's government and the Bank of Japan met Thursday to discuss financial market developments, ahead of a fresh emergency declaration in the Tokyo metropolitan area, where the novel coronavirus is spreading rapidly.

"Stability of financial markets is extremely important, so we'll continue closely watching future developments," Kenji Okamura, vice finance minister for international affairs, told a press conference after the meeting, suggesting that the government and the central bank will act in a concerted way if needed.

The government decided Thursday to declare a fresh coronavirus state of emergency, for Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, giving rise to strong concerns that the economy will stall again after facing a severe slump following the first, nationwide state of emergency over the epidemic, which was in place in spring last year. The new state of emergency will take effect on Friday and is slated to run until Feb. 7.

At Thursday's meeting, participants, including Okamura, Financial Services Agency chief Ryozo Himi and BOJ Executive Director Shinichi Uchida, confirmed that the government and the BOJ are making all-out efforts to deal with the impacts of the virus crisis, including through the compilation of a draft state budget for fiscal 2021, which starts in April.

They also exchanged views on the yen's recent strengthening against the dollar on the foreign exchange market.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press