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BOJ holds policy meet, amid calls for more easing

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank has convened a two-day policy meeting that is widely expected to end with fresh measures to stimulate the economy.

The government pushed Monday for more action by the Bank of Japan to ease monetary policy to help the recession-struck economy escape from years of debilitating deflation.

Trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters the government is determined that the central bank set a 2 percent target for inflation.

He refuted accusations, however, that such demands were aimed at eroding the central bank's independent status. He said the government would leave it up to the central bank to decide what measures to adopt, while insisting something more be done.

The Bank of Japan is expected to opt for new asset purchases to help encourage bank lending.