The Bank of Japan (BOJ) stayed the course with its monetary easing at its meeting Friday, but it took steps to improve its transparency by releasing more information about its decisions.
The central bank plans to release a summary of opinions from policy meetings about a week after each meeting. It will also reduce the number of policy meetings to eight times a year from the 14 currently, while increasing the number of economic outlook reports to four from two currently. These steps will bring its practices more in line with other major central banks.
"Sometimes the minutes come a bit too late, in my view, to be of much use," Alvin Liew, senior economist at UOB, told CNBC. "It makes it more relevant, rather than the minutes coming out after another policy decision has been done."
He expects the change will improve the BOJ's transparency and give the market a "better read" on how each member of the policy committee is contributing to the decision process.
In his afternoon press conference after the decision, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said publishing quarterly economic forecasts is the standard practice globally.
Otherwise, however, the BOJ kept its monetary policy unchanged, maintaining an upbeat view on the economy.
In an 8-1 vote, the central bank pledged to increase base money at an annual pace of 80 trillion yen ($660 billion) through purchases of government bonds and risky assets. In the afternoon press conference following the decision, Kuroda said the economy continued to recovery moderately, with long-term inflation expectations appearing to rise.
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Some of Japan's economic data has supported the recovery expectations, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter revised higher to an annualized 3.9 percent, up from 1.5 percent in the October-to-December quarter, amid better-than-expected capital spending.
But while the BOJ stood pat this time, market watchers say further easing is inevitable down the line with the consumer inflation rate far from the BOJ's target of 2 percent. In April, Japan's core inflation rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier.
Expectations for more BOJ easing and a weaker yen aren't likely to change, DBS said in a note Friday before the meeting ended.
"Despite higher wages, consumer spending has remained weak in Japan so far, well below the normal levels seen before last year's sales tax hike. Meanwhile, inflation numbers are hovering around 0 percent," it said. "There is insufficient evidence to show that a wage-driven recovery in the domestic economy is already in place, or the demand-driven inflation is already building up. Moreover, exports growth has started to slow."
Others are also expecting further easing ahead.
"Economic activity likely slowed sharply in the second quarter, and we think that the pace of recovery will remain tepid in the second half of the year," Marcel Thieliant, an economist covering Japan at Capital Economics, said in note after the decision. He expects the BOJ may step up to 90 billion yen of asset purchases annually, starting in October.