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The Bank of Japan (BOJ) could soon cut rates further into the negative territory to counter the ongoing economic slowdown, the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) former policy board member Shirai said on Friday.

Shirai added that the central bank will spring into action if the Yen strengthens to an uncomfortable level.

The Bank of Japan left its key short-term interest rate unchanged at -0.1 percent at its July meeting committed to expanding stimulus if a global slowdown prolongs and derails progress towards the 2% inflation target.

Since then, the dovish BOJ expectations have increased. The Japanese inflation data released earlier today further strengthened the case for more easing. The core consumer price index, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, rose 0.6% in July year-on-year, matching the previous month’s print, which was the lowest since July 2017.