The Bank of Japan's policy board voted 7 to 2 to keep monetary policy unchanged at a meeting Feb. 25, deciding to gauge the effect of its interest rate cut two weeks earlier, according to minutes of the meeting.

On Feb. 12 the central bank unexpectedly slashed its target for the interbank overnight loan rate, which is equivalent to the U.S. federal funds rate, by 10 basis points, to 0.15%. The rate cut was aimed at countering deflationary pressure and averting surges in bond yields and the yen's value on currency markets.

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