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TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan on Monday eased monetary policy further by ramping up purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other risky assets to combat the widening economic fallout from the coronavirus epidemic.

The BOJ left unchanged its short- and long-term interest rate targets buy a 7-2 vote.

“The BOJ will take additional monetary easing steps as needed without hesitation with a close eye on the impact from the coronavirus epidemic for the time being,” it said in a statement after a hastily called emergency meeting.

Monday’s meeting replaced a regular rate review that was initially scheduled for March 18-19.

BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. (0700 GMT) to explain the policy decision. (Reporting by Leika Kihara, Daniel Leussink, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Sam Nussey; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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