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Japan pours in billions

THE BANK of Japan is standing by to inject additional short-term cash into the banking system after the devastating earthquake.

Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said he is preparing to release "massive" liquidity this morning in Tokyo in a bid to assure financial stability.

It's expected that longer-term credit programmes which total 35 trillion yen (€30bn) would be kept in place.

The bank's main interest rate has already been slashed to almost zero in an attempt to end the nation's deflation.

It's anticipated that the economic losses in the region hit by the tsunami and earthquake will reach around 14 trillion to 15 trillion yen (€122-€131bn).