The Bank of Japan today stepped up the efforts to calm the markets and vowed to ensure financial markets stability after the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sendai. The quake caused heavy damage across the east coast of Japan and triggering Tsunamis with already more than 20 cities under Tsunami alerts.

Already the Nikkei Index ended lower by 1.7% at 10254.43, and the BoJ assured it will take all the necessary measures to ensure the financial market stability. The bank already set up an emergency taskforce head by governor Shirakawa and assured they will do all that is necessary o provide ample liquidity; they informed the interbank system that they have not been affected by the earthquake.

The Japanese yen rallied against all of the 16-major traded currencies on boosted demand for the local currency and risk aversion amid repatriation of wealth. The Japanese yen strengthened to 81.99 from 83.29 before the quake.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan already mobilized the nation's Self Defense Forces and called on the people of Japan to act calmly as he told reporters in Tokyo after he gathered the emergency disaster response team.