TOKYO: Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Thursday (Nov 10) he had no desire to get re-appointed for another five-year term to head the central bank, after his current one ends in April next year.
“In April, it will be 10 years since I became governor. Personally, I have absolutely no desire to get re-appointed,” Kuroda told parliament.
The government nominates a candidate for BOJ governor, which needs parliament approval to take effect. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has offered few clues on who his preferred candidate could be, or when he could make the decision.
The choice of the next BOJ governor will be crucial to how quickly the central bank could phase out the current radical stimulus programme deployed by Kuroda.
While there is no law prohibiting Kuroda from seeking a third five-year term, few had expected him to be reappointed when his current term ends.
Given the deep expertise needed to navigate monetary policy at a time of huge economic uncertainty, former BOJ deputy governor Hiroshi Nakaso and incumbent deputy Masayoshi Amamiya are considered strong candidates to replace Kuroda.
Amamiya has master-minded many of the BOJ’s monetary easing measures including those for Kuroda, while Nakaso played a key role in engineering a smooth exit from the previous spell of quantitative easing in 2006.
Kuroda has consistently stressed the need to keep monetary policy ultra-loose to support Japan’s fragile economy and warned that raising rates now would be premature.
But some domestic media and opposition lawmakers have criticised the BOJ’s ultra-loose policy as accelerating an unwelcome yen decline that is pushing up import prices and the cost of living for households.
Some market players bet the BOJ could tweak ultra-low interest rates when the dovish Kuroda’s term ends next year.
Hand-picked by ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013, Kuroda deployed a massive stimulus programme to shock the public out of deflation and fire up inflation to the BOJ’s 2 per cent target. In a rare move, he was re-appointed for another term in 2018.