The Bank of Japan's Monetary Policy Meeting confirmed on June 11 the details which will allow it to purchase ABS and ABCP. This is a temporary measure: the Bank of Japan (BOJ) intends to start purchasing ABS from the end of July 2003 through June 2006.

The ultimate goal of these new measures, however, is not ABS, but the small and medium-sized business sector (SMEs), which has been under pressure for some time. Although many measures have been taken to date, both by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the government-owned financial institutions to help provide financing to this sector, these businesses are still finding the funding environment extremely difficult, and loans by commercial banks to small businesses continue to decrease.

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