Japan’s Economics Minister Akira Amari said on Tuesday that Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda has the qualifications to run Japan’s central bank but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has yet to decide whom he wants for the post. Kuroda, with a career built in the finance ministry and an academic before joining the ADB, is being considered as a leading candidate to take over at the Bank of Japan next month.
While Kuroda himself declined to comment on Monday on whether he is being courted by the prime minister for the position and saying that he is happy in his current job, he is thought to be favored by some people in Abe’s camp. “I think Kuroda is one person who has the qualifications for the job,” Amari said. Abe is set to nominate a new BOJ head, replacing Masaaki Shirakawa, who is stepping down on the 19th of March. Abe has made it clear that he wants someone who will take strong and bold policy steps to revive the economy and conquer deflation.
Kuroda, Japan’s prime currency diplomat in the years of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and has openly criticized Shirakawa’s policies at the BOJ, seems to fit Abe’s requirements for the job. Aside from Shirakawa, two of the BOJ’s deputy governors are also set to finish their terms on March 19, giving Abe a great opportunity to revamp the central bank leadership to one that favors his push for aggressive monetary policy.[ via Reuters ]