The Bank of Japan has held off announcing any new policy measures as it wrapped up its first meeting since unveiling a huge stimulus package this month aimed at stoking the economy and beating deflation.
In a brief, two-paragraph statement on Friday the central bank said its widely expected decision to stand pat was reached by a unanimous vote by its board.
Earlier Friday, the tough task ahead for the bank and government in their fight against deflation was highlighted by data showing core consumer prices, which exclude volatile prices of fresh food, fell 0.5 per cent on-year in March.
Earlier this month, the central bank's new management team - hand picked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - embarked on a new era of huge spending by announcing a massive stimulus program.
At his first meeting as BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda, a staunch critic of the previous BoJ's efforts to kickstart the economy, said he would double the money supply and vowed no let-up in the fight to reverse falling prices.
The bank also pledged to meet a two per cent inflation target within two years, a key aim of the government.
Markets were now looking to the BoJ's semi-annual economic price forecast for concrete signs about whether the inflation target is achievable. The report is to be released at 0600 GMT before Kuroda gives a news briefing.
Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires expect the BoJ to raise its forecast for the average increase in the consumer price index to 1.5 per cent in the next fiscal year starting April 2014, well up from the 0.9 per cent in the BoJ's January report.
Deflation is bad for the economy because it encourages consumers to put off spending in the belief their intended purchases will be cheaper in the future, softening demand and hurting producers.
The yen has weakened by about a fifth since November, when Abe vowed in opposition to follow an aggressive monetary easing policy by ramping up spending and fuel inflation.
In Tokyo forex trade Friday, the US dollar bought 98.83 yen, well up from a record low around the 75 level in late 2011.
However, some economists have warned that the new policies may not reflate the economy and could lead to bigger problems down the line.
Years of ineffective pump-priming by successive governments have left Japan with a mountain of debt around twice the size of its economy, the worst ratio among industrialised nations.
Its ageing citizens are increasingly drawing down on their savings - much of which is tied up in government bonds - shrinking the pool of money the state can readily tap to fund the growing social security costs.