Japan's central bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged at virtually zero to help the world's No. 3 economy weather a strong yen and worries about a global slowdown.
The Bank of Japan's nine-member policy board voted unanimously at a two-day meeting to maintain the overnight call rate target at zero to 0.1 percent.
It described the economy as "picking up steadily" and said the supply problems triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami were mostly resolved. It warned, however, of U.S. economic uncertainty, European debt problems and ensuing volatility in financial markets.
It vowed to keep interest rates at zero until prices stabilize and said it would continue pursuing "powerful monetary easing."