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TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) – Japan’s selection of a new central bank governor is set to intensify after upper house elections in July and could determine how quickly the country follows its global counterparts in the withdrawal of monetary stimulus.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will choose from a shortlist, usually drawn up by financial bureaucrats, a successor to Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, whose second five-year term ends in April next year. . Read more
The two deputy governorships, currently held by career central banker Masayoshi Amamiya and academic Masazumi Wakatabe, will also open in March.
Here are the possible candidates for the position:
Currently deputy governor, Amamiya has spent most of his career at the central bank drafting monetary policy ideas and is nicknamed “Mr. BOJ” for orchestrating many of the bank’s unconventional monetary easing ideas.
He played a key role in drafting Kuroda’s massive asset purchase program in 2013 and has consistently called for keeping interest rates ultra-low.
A classical music enthusiast, Amamiya is known for his close contact with lawmakers and bureaucrats who help him read which direction the political wind is blowing in the direction of politics.
A career central banker who served as deputy governor until 2018, Nakaso played a key role in bringing the BOJ out of the first period of quantitative easing in 2006.
With a long background in overseeing market operations and international affairs at the BOJ, Nakaso has repeatedly warned of the downsides of prolonged monetary easing, such as the distortion his huge presence could create in markets. bonds and money market.
Like Kuroda, Asakawa rose through the ranks at the Ministry of Finance and became Japan’s top financial diplomat in 2015, a position he held for four years during which he battled a strong yen and pledged in difficult negotiations with the administration of US President Donald Trump.
After retiring from the ministry, he became president of the Asian Development Bank in 2020 – a position Kuroda also held before becoming governor of the BOJ.
In his book, Asakawa hailed Kuroda’s stimulus package as a good move to beat deflation. He also said declines in the yen would be harder to stop than rises in the yen via currency intervention, as the amount of foreign currency Japan can sell to support the yen would be limited to the size of its currency reserves. exchange.
Traditionally, the BOJ and the Ministry of Finance take turns as central bank governor, holding the post for a single five-year term. It erupted when Kuroda was nominated in 2018 for a second five-year term.
If history is any guide, the next BOJ governor would be chosen from the ranks of central banks. But there is a chance that Kishida will opt for a dark horse candidate.
Among the names mentioned by analysts are Columbia University professor Takatoshi Ito, close to Kuroda, and former top monetary diplomat Takeo Nakao.
Given Kishida’s close ties to the finance ministry, he could choose a former senior official from the institution, although there is no consensus on who might be among the strongest candidates.
A career central banker who has spent most of his career in the elite monetary affairs department, Uchida is a rising star who landed a rare reappointment for a second four-year term as executive director of the BOJ overseeing the Monetary Policy.
Many analysts see the reappointment as a sign that he could fill one of two deputy governorships.
Along with Amamiya, Uchida played a key role in drafting many of Kuroda’s policies, including the introduction of negative interest rates and yield curve control in 2016.
People who know him say Uchida strongly believes the BOJ needs to maintain ultra-loose monetary policy for the time being in order to revive growth and tighten the labor market enough for wages to rise further.
Currently the BOJ’s executive director overseeing international affairs, Shimizu is among the few female central bankers to have risen through the ranks of the male-dominated institution.
While her BOJ career centered on international and market affairs rather than monetary policy, Shimizu is seen as a dark horse as deputy governor or even governor if Kishida wants more diversity in the BOJ’s leadership.
No woman has yet held the post of Deputy Governor or Governor of the BOJ.
Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Sam Holmes
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