Tokyo: Japan`s central bank overhauled its monetary policy this week, turning its focus on government bond yields as it tries to kickstart inflation in the world`s number three economy.
The move is the latest throw of the dice for governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who was tasked in 2013 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with fulfilling one of the key planks of his economic growth blitz, dubbed Abenomics.
Kuroda sent Japanese markets soaring soon after taking office in March 2013 by unveiling an unprecedented stimulus. However, as the effects of those measures have waned he has been forced to reinvigorate it with fresh measures.
Here are some key milestones in the bank`s stimulus programme:
New appointment Kuroda unveils a huge monetary easing campaign aimed at dragging Japan out of its economic torpor and weak inflation by promising to spend 60 trillion yen ($550 billion at the time) a year buying up vast amounts of government bonds in a bid to effectively suppress interest rates.
The bank declares an ambitious target of reaching two percent inflation within "about two years".
The stock market soars and the yen plunges about 20 percent against the dollar by the end of the year.
Faced with a pick-up in the yen and with Abenomics` initial success seemingly fading, the Bank announces a surprise ramping up of its stimulus programme, promising to spend 80 trillion a year on government assets. They yen soars a further 10 percent in six months.
With inflation refusing to budge from levels below 0.1 percent, policymakers lower their forecasts, pushing back the timeline for hitting a 2.0 percent to the first half of fiscal 2016 -- a year later than initially targeted.
Officials announce an unexpected tweak to the struggling stimulus programme, including boosting their holdings in firms dedicated to capital spending and new hiring. They also said they would increase the bank`s exposure to longer-term bonds.
The move was met with a whimper on financial markets, with investors far from impressed.
The bank adopts a policy of negative interest rates for the first time its history, effectively charging lenders to park their cash with it.
The move is intended to increase lending to people and businesses, but is criticised as "desperate" after three years of Abenomics appears to have done little.
Just over a month after the shock decision by Britain to leave the European Union, which fanned fears of a global crisis, the bank again leaves markets underwhelmed by saying it would boost its exposure to riskier investments.
The yen rose on the news and equities struggled as traders had hoped it would ramp up its massive 80 trillion yen annual bond-buying programme.
Kuroda pledges to keep the yield on 10-year government bonds around zero, by buying as few or as many as necessary.
He also says he will cut back on the number of longer dated bonds the bank holds. That should reduce the price of long-term securities, which -- in turn -- should increase their yield.
This so-called steepening of the yield curve is the latest effort to convince Japanese consumers that the price of goods and services will rise in the future.