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TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan pledged to keep interest rates “very low” for the time being and took measures to make its massive stimulus programme more flexible on Tuesday, reflecting its forecast that it would take time for inflation to hit its 2 percent target.
The BOJ decided to maintain the short-term interest rate target at minus 0.1 percent and a pledge to guide 10-year government bond yields around zero percent by a 7-2 vote.
But it added language in its policy statement to say that long-term interest rates may fluctuate depending on economic and price developments and that it would conduct its bond-buying programme flexibly.
BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. (0630 GMT) to explain the policy decision. (Reporting by Leika Kihara, Stanley White, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Thomas Wilson Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Chris Gallagher)