FXstreet.com (Jakarta) - The BOJ Meeting minutes released Friday showed that much of the discussion at the meeting centered on a proposal by the bank to increase its purchases of Japanese government bonds, with a consensus emerging on the board that it was crucial to keep such purchases to the amount of outstanding banknotes.

The BOJ board voted unanimously at the meeting to boost its outright purchases of JGBs by Y400 billion a month to Y1.8 trillion a month, or Y21.6 trillion a year. The market had been expecting an increase of just Y100 billion-Y200 billion. The board also voted unanimously to hold its policy interest rate steady at 0.10%.

The bond-buying decision came one day after the policy board said it would consider providing Y1 trillion in subordinated loans to financial firms. That was an attempt to strengthen banks' capital bases and encourage them to lend - although that move was separate from the banks' formal monetary policy decision.

With economic conditions continuing to deteriorate and financial market tensions again on the rise, some Bank of Japan policy board members said at their March 17-18 meeting that expectations for Japan's medium- to long-term growth might have to be revised downward.

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