RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with the Bank of Japan.
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MONTAGNE: This morning, Japan's Central Bank doubled incentives it offers to banks in an effort to encourage more lending. The move is meant to weaken the yen, which would make Japanese goods more affordable - in turn, encouraging Americans and Chinese to buy those goods.
The Japanese have scaled back their spending in the midst of a sluggish economy. Unemployment in Japan is at a six-year low, but many of the new jobs are contract work, which often means lower pay and irregular pay. Sales tax is also scheduled to increase in April to pay for health care costs.
So not surprisingly amidst all of that, Tokyo stocks rose sharply this morning after the announcement of the new incentives for banks to make loans. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.