Japan's central bank has cut its key interest rate to a range of 0% to 0.1%, effectively introducing a zero-interest-rate policy.
The unanimous vote came Tuesday after a two-day meeting of the Bank of Japan's nine-member policy board.
The central bank had not changed the overnight call rate target since December 2008, when it set the rate at 0.1%.
The decision underscores growing worries about the Japanese economy, which is being battered by a strong yen and persistent deflation. Recent economic indicators point toward weakening growth.