By Megumi Fujikawa
The Bank of Japan downgraded its assessment of all of the country's nine regional economies for the second-straight quarter on Thursday, as the global pandemic continued to weigh on exporters and the service sector.
The bank said in its quarterly report that the economies in the nine regions "had deteriorated or had been in a severe situation" due to the novel coronavirus. In its previous report in April, the bank said the nine economies were weak or were facing strong downward pressure.
BOJ Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said earlier in the day that Japan's economy has been in an extremely severe situation.
"The Bank of Japan will closely watch the impact of the novel coronavirus for the time being and will not hesitate to take additional easing action if necessary," he said at the opening of the bank's branch managers' meeting, which was held as a video conference.