TOKYO: Japan’s central bank said on Wednesday it would toughen measures to prevent leaks to the media, but found no evidence to support claims a major newspaper was fed early details about its latest stimulus plan.
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) said it would limit the use of smartphones and other hi-tech gadgets at its headquarters and restrict reporters’ movements ahead of policy announcements.
The BoJ launched an investigation earlier this month after Japan’s leading Nikkei business said the bank was mulling a negative interest rate policy just before it made the formal announcement.
The story was published online several minutes before the BoJ shocked markets with the fresh stimulus after a closed-door meeting.
The bank’s meetings are considered top secret, with media waiting in a closed room with no outside communication until the board releases its policy decision.
Only policymakers and several government officials were in attendance and the Nikkei report immediately sparked suspicion that the information had been supplied from someone at the meeting.
The bank said it reviewed security camera footage and spoke with employees, executives and the government officials.
But “the bank could not find anything to point to a leak,” it said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear if market regulators were also looking into the apparent irregularity.
The stimulus news immediately sparked a reaction on markets, sending the yen into a steep dive and sparking a huge stock rally as investors cheered the BoJ’s newest weapon in its bid to kick-start the world’s number three economy.