Japan is making a sweeping shift in its monetary policy, aiming to spur inflation and get the world's third-largest economy out of a long, debilitating slump. Bowing to demands from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for more aggressive monetary easing, the Bank of Japan announced Thursday a policy overhaul intended to double the money supply and achieve a 2 percent inflation target at the "earliest possible time, with a time horizon of about two years." BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda described the scale of monetary stimulus as "large beyond reason," but said the inflation target would remain out of reach if the central bank stuck to incremental steps.

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