Bank of Japan’s $50 Billion Question: When to Stop Buying Stocks

The Nikkei is near a 26-year high, and critics say the BOJ’s buying distorts the market

TOKYO—The Bank of Japan, after goosing Japanese share prices with a $50-billion-a-year program of stock purchases, now confronts a decision facing many other developed country central banks: when to stop.

The Nikkei Stock Average, standing near a 26-year high, doesn’t seem in need of special help anymore, and critics say the BOJ’s buying distorts the market. The Nikkei has more than doubled in the last five years and is up 24% from a year ago.

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