Nomination of Kazuo Ueda as BOJ Chief Presented to Diet

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, fourth from right, attends a board meeting of the House of Representatives Rules and Administration Committee at the Diet Building in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The government presented to the Diet Tuesday its nomination of economist Kazuo Ueda, 71, as the successor to Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, whose term ends on April 8.

Ueda, a former member of the central bank’s Policy Board, would be the first BOJ governor to come from academia.

The government also presented its nominations of former Financial Services Agency Commissioner Ryozo Himino, 62, and BOJ Executive Director Shinichi Uchida, 60, as deputy governors.

From left, Shinichi Uchida, Kazuo Ueda, Ryozo Himino

The terms of the current deputy BOJ governors expire on March 19.

The nominations were presented Tuesday morning at a board meeting of the Rules and Administration Committee of both Diet chambers.

Sessions on the nominations will be held in the House of Representatives on Feb. 24 and in the House of Councillors on Feb. 27.

The appointments will be made once the Diet has approved the nominations.

Ueda specializes in international economics and is an expert on monetary policy. In 1998, he became the youngest member of the BOJ’s Policy Board.

Ueda also boasts international connections. While studying in the United States, he crossed paths with former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman and last year’s Nobel Prize winner Ben Bernanke, among others.

As a BOJ Policy Board member, Ueda opposed the central bank’s lifting of the zero interest rate policy in 2000 due to the deflation risk.

He is well aware of the problems of prolonged monetary easing, which can overheat an economy, and is known as a neutral commentator who is not biased toward monetary easing or tightening.

Deputy governor nominee Himino is internationally known in the world of financial administration, having held leadership roles at international organizations. As deputy governor, Himino will be responsible for dealing with increasing volatility in financial markets.

Under Kuroda, deputy governor nominee Uchida formulated a series of large-scale monetary easing measures, including negative interest rates.

Uchida will be responsible for coordinating policy and supporting the next BOJ head in efforts to normalize Japan’s monetary policy.

If Diet discussions on the nominations proceed smoothly, the BOJ is scheduled to hold its first monetary policy meeting with Ueda at the helm on April 27-28.