The U.S. should have looked at Japan's experience with near-zero rates before the December 2008 Federal Open Market Committee decision to drop rates near zero, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Thursday.

"The debate over the wisdom of locking in near-zero rates did not take sufficient account of the experience in Japan, in my view," Bullard said in remarks to the University of Arkansas, according to a release from the Fed. The Bank of Japan cut its policy rate to near zero in the 1990s and short-term rates in Japan remain at zero today.

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