Kuroda holds steady course at last BoJ meeting

STORY: Haruhiko Kuroda's final policy meeting came with few surprises on Friday (March 10).

The outgoing Bank of Japan governor kept ultra-low interest rates in place, with a short-term target at -0.1%.

Kuroda leaves the bank with a mixed legacy.

His huge stimulus was praised for pulling the economy out of deflation.

But critics say long-term low interest rates have also hurt bank profits, distorted market function, and left the country with slow economic growth.

Kuroda defended his ten year-long stimulus program Friday.

"As I mentioned earlier, we have been taking various steps, so I believe that the benefits of our monetary easing policy to the economy have far exceeded the demerits."

Academic Kazuo Ueda is set to take over from Kuroda in April, and due to chair his first policy meeting later that month.

Kuroda spoke positively of his replacement on Friday.

"He is one of Japan's leading economists. I believe he has deep knowledge of central banks, given his experience as a member of the policy board at the Bank of Japan."

Last month, Ueda agreed with Kuroda's call to keep an ultra-loose policy, but he also said he had ideas on how to move away from low rates.

He said he was open to the idea of re-assessing the current policy framework.