TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan kept monetary policy steady and maintained its upbeat view of the economy on Thursday, signaling confidence that it can meet its 2 percent inflation target without additional monetary stimulus.
As widely expected, the BOJ voted unanimously to maintain its pledge of increasing base money, or cash and deposits at the central bank, at an annual pace of 60-70 trillion yen ($572-$667 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets.
"Japan's economy continues to recover moderately as a trend," although the effects of the April sales tax hike can be observed, the BOJ said in a statement issued after the meeting, keeping its assessment unchanged from last month.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference from 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the policy decision.
The BOJ has stood pat since launching an intense burst of stimulus in April last year, when it pledged to double base money via aggressive asset purchases to achieve its 2 percent inflation target in roughly two years.
(1 US dollar = 104.9000 Japanese yen)
Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Chris Gallagher