Bank of Japan ramps up stimulus as virus pain deepens

The Bank of Japan is ramping up stimulus measures as the country’s pandemic pain deepens.

Over the weekend the number of virus-related deaths in the country hit 360, with more than 13,000 cases.

After seeming to contain the outbreak, Japan has faced a rising toll in recent weeks.

A state of emergency has been extended to the whole country.

Testing centres are popping up in big cities.

Now the Bank of Japan says it will do more to help.

On Monday (April 27) it pledged to buy more corporate debt and an unlimited amount of government bonds.

That’s intended to keep borrowing costs low and help Tokyo spend its way out of the crisis.

The government there last week boosted its rescue spending package to 1.1 trillion dollars.

Every citizen is to get a payout of close to $1,000.

But the outlook remains bleak.

The central bank sharply cut its economic forecast, and warned inflation would fall well short of targets for three more years.

Now the focus turns to the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

They’re due to outline their latest measures this week, and both are under pressure to step up already unprecedented interventions.