The Bank of Japan is ready to launch more monetary stimulus if COVID-19 in the country threatened to derail a fragile economic recovery, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech on Thursday. The remarks came ahead of the central bank’s two-day policy meeting next week, when it will issue fresh quarterly growth forecasts. Kuroda noted that the Japanese economy was picking up, even as an expanded state of emergency declared on Wednesday. “The BOJ will scrutinise the impact of the pandemic for the time being and stand ready to take additional easing steps without hesitation if needed,” he said.