BOJ cuts rates on weak economy, deflation fears

The Bank of Japan surprised financial markets and pleased politicians on Feb 28, 2001 by cutting its key interest rates in response to a sudden turn for the worse in the world's second-largest economy.

The central bank's Policy Board, which had been under intense political pressure to ease monetary policy, trimmed the overnight money-market rate to 0.15 percent from 0.25 percent and cut the more symbolic discount rate to 0.25 percent from 0.35 percent.

The central bank said it was acting becaus