Diet Approves Kazuo Ueda as Next BOJ Governor

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Kazuo Ueda, nominee to lead the Bank of Japan, speaks during a confirmation hearing in the House of Representatives in Tokyo on Feb. 24.

The Diet gave the green light for economist Kazuo Ueda to become the next governor of the Bank of Japan after the House of Councillors approved the government’s pick on Friday.

The upper house also approved the appointments of Ryozo Himino, 62, a former commissioner of the Financial Services Agency, and Shinichi Uchida, 60, a BOJ executive director, as BOJ deputy governors, with a majority of votes mainly from lawmakers of the Liberal Democratic Party and its ruling coalition partner Komeito.

Diet procedures for the appointments have been now completed, following the approval by the upper house and House of Representatives on Thursday.

The government will appoint Himino and Uchida as BOJ deputy governors, effective March 20, and Ueda as BOJ governor, effective April 9.

Ueda, who was on the BOJ Policy Board from 1998 to 2005, boasts international connections with a range of individuals, including Nobel laureate and former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke.

The government and the central bank will aim to create a virtuous cycle of sustained price hikes and economic growth by further shoring up the Japanese economy, which has improved over the past 10 years of massive monetary easing.

The first regular monetary policy meeting under the new BOJ leadership is scheduled for April 27-28.

Ueda, 71, specializes in international economics and will be the first BOJ governor with a background in academia. Compared to the outgoing Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, who has presided over aggressive monetary easing, Ueda is expected to scrutinize the positive and negative effects of monetary easing.

At confirmation hearings in both Diet chambers in February, Ueda expressed his intention to continue monetary easing. “Policies always have positive effects and side effects. I will calmly weigh them and implement appropriate policies,” he said.

Himino and Uchida have also indicated that they intend to support monetary easing for the time being.

Himino coordinated a consultative body on international financial regulations during his years at the Financial Services Agency. Uchida was involved in the planning and design of most of the current monetary easing measures as a BOJ executive director.

Kuroda’s term as BOJ chief will end on April 8, while the deputy governors, Masayoshi Amamiya and Masazumi Wakatabe, will complete their tenures on March 19.