The Bank of Japan on Tuesday lowered its real GDP growth forecast for this fiscal year to 0.4 percent from an earlier 0.6 percent projection due to the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The central bank upgraded its view of the economy, saying it is "picking up" as post-quake supply-side constraints ease, but it said growth prospects for Japan would be lower for the fiscal year ending March 2012 due to "the sharp downturn immediately after the earthquake."
The bank's board also voted unanimously for the key rate to remain unchanged at between zero and 0.1 percent.
The March disasters devastated entire towns along the northeast coast and left more than 20,000 dead or missing while wreaking havoc on industry, pushing the economy into recession in Japan's worst crisis since World War II.
The nation's biggest firms such as Sony and Toyota were forced to shutter plants and halt production due to shortages in electricity and parts after the disaster disrupted supply chains, sending output and exports tumbling.