The yen rose against the dollar and Japanese stocks were slightly up this morning as the Bank of Japan meets to discuss raising interest rates from a zero per cent position for the first time in almost six years.

This morning the yen was at 115.127 to the dollar, 211.778 to the pound and at 146.537 to the euro.

However, comments from Japanese finance minister Sadakazu Tanigaki yesterday that there was "no need" for the bank to rush its decision has fuelled concern that politicians are pressuring policy makers to delay any rise in interest rates..

But Yuji Saito, a senior currency dealer at Societe Generale, told

Bloomberg: "Even though politicians put pressure on the BoJ, there is almost no doubt the central bank will raise rates tomorrow."

The final decision, widely expected to be a quarter point rise from zero per cent to 0.25 per cent, is expected to be announced on Friday.

Looking to the longer term, analysts believe the rate rise will not quickly be followed by another.

"The market is currently expecting the next rate hike [after Friday's], to come, at the earliest, in October," Takehiro Sato, an economist with Morgan Stanley, told Agence France Presse.