TOKYO, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei share average rose on Tuesday after the market digested the Bank of Japan's decision to maintain current monetary policy, while the yen's fall versus the dollar lifted overall sentiment.
The Nikkei gained 0.5 percent to 19,494.53, the highest closing level since early December in 2015.
The BOJ kept monetary policy steady on Tuesday and took a more upbeat view of the economy than of late, reinforcing market expectations that its future policy direction could be an increase - not a cut - in interest rates.
The broader Topix added 0.2 percent to 1,552.36 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 advanced 0.3 percent to 13,912.64. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa)