BOJ to reduce government bond purchases

The Bank of Japan will reduce its purchases of long-term government bonds as part of plans to normalize monetary policy. The central bank announced the decision on Friday after a two-day meeting.

The BOJ will execute the plan over the next one to two years. It will decide on the details at its next meeting at the end of July.

The bank has been purchasing 6 trillion yen, or about 38 billion dollars, worth of government bonds a month.

BOJ policymakers left short-term interest rates unchanged at zero to 0.1 percent.

In March, the bank ended negative interest rates, a landmark move toward normalizing monetary policy.

BOJ Governor Ueda Kazuo told the Diet last week that it's appropriate to reduce bond purchases as part of that policy shift.