BOJ maintains most monetary policy points

Policymakers at the Bank of Japan say they're leaving the central bank's easing program unchanged following their two-day meeting.

They will keep their short-term benchmark interest rate in negative territory. They will continue their asset purchases to keep long-term rates around 0 percent, with an upper limit of 0.5 percentage points.

The bank last month widened the trading band for 10-year bond yields.

That upper limit was meant to help the market function more efficiently and encourage a smoother yield curve.

The revision prompted speculation that the bank would lift the cap again at its latest meeting.
But it appears policymakers are content to keep monitoring the effects of the December change for now.

Meanwhile, the bank has raised its inflation forecast for the current fiscal year which ends in March.
It now expects prices to increase by 3 percent, up from the 2.9 percent it announced in October.
This is the median forecast for the consumer price index and excludes fresh food.