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Bank of Japan Holds Line on Rates

Japanese stocks were trading slightly higher Thursday after Japan's central bank kept rates steady and didn't offer any new policy steps.

Updated from 12:11 a.m. EST

TOKYO (

TheStreet

) -- Japanese stocks closed slightly higher Thursday after Japan's central bank kept rates steady and didn't offer any new policy steps.

The Nikkei 225 stock average gained 0.3%, or 28.86, to 10,335.69.

Bank of Japan members voted unanimously to maintain the overnight call rate target at 0.1%, a target it has held since December 2008.

The central bank, in a statement, said the Japanese economy is picking up "although there is not yet sufficient momentum to support a self-sustaining recovery in domestic private demand."

Bank of Japan resisted pressure from Japanese officials to ease policy. Finance Minister Naoto Kan had called for inflation of 1%, saying that was the minimum level required for stable prices, the

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Associated Press

reports.

Japan's central bank said it remained committed to fighting deflation.

"The Bank recognizes that it is a critical challenge for Japan's economy to overcome deflation and return to a sustainable growth path with price stability. To this end, the Bank will continue to consistently make contributions as central bank. In the conduct of monetary policy, the Bank will aim to maintain the extremely accommodative financial environment," the central bank's statement said.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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