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Associated Press
People walk by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo showing Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index that gained 272.34 points to 12,634.54 Thursday, April 4, 2013. Earlier in the day the Bank of Japan announced a policy overhaul intended to double the money supply and achieve a 2 percent inflation target at the ?earliest possible time, with a time horizon of about two years.? Financial markets reacted with relief. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

TOKYO — Japan is taking aggressive action to lift consumer prices, encourage borrowing and help pull the world's third-largest economy out of a long slump.

Like the U.S. Federal Reserve, Japan's central bank plans to flood its financial system with more money — its most far-reaching step to date to get consumers and companies to borrow and spend.

The Bank of Japan's action will also drive down the value of the yen. A cheaper currency will make Japanese goods — from Toyota cars to Sony TVs — less costly for Americans and other foreigners. And it will make U.S. and other exports more expensive in Japan.