Japan to nominate ADB president as BoJ chief: reports

TOKYO, Feb 25, 2013 (AFP) - The Japanese government of Mr Shinzo Abe is set to nominate Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda as governor of the central bank, reports said on Monday, sending the dollar surging against the yen.

The greenback surged past 94 yen (S$1.25) in early Asian trade from 93.37 yen in New York on Friday, with investors confident that there will be fresh aggressive easing steps by Mr Abe's administration to boost the flagging economy.

The cabinet plans to submit his nomination to parliament this week, the Nikkei and other newspapers said. The appointment requires parliamentary approval.

If approved, the 68-year-old former finance ministry bureaucrat will succeed incumbent Bank of Japan (BoJ) governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who is stepping down on March 19, several weeks before the end of his term.

Mr Abe has decided to pick Mr Kuroda "as he backs Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bold monetary easing policies while maintaining good links with the international financial industry," the Nikkei said.

Mr Abe also plans to pick Tokyo's Gakushuin University economics professor Kikuo Iwata as one of the deputy governors, while BoJ executive-director Hiroshi Nakaso is the leading contender for the other deputy position, Nikkei reported.

Immediate confirmation of the reports was not available.

Mr Abe told a news conference on Friday in Washington that his government would start picking nominees on Monday after concluding his US trip, during which he held talks with President Barack Obama.

Mr Kuroda had spent decades as a Japanese finance ministry bureaucrat. He was responsible for international affairs and foreign exchange policy between 1999 and 2003 before assuming the post of ADB president in 2005.

A former vice-finance minister for international affairs, he is known as an advocate of aggressive monetary easing to overcome Japan's deflation, a stance in line with Mr Abe's economic policy.

The prime minister had warned that he could change a law guaranteeing the bank's independence if it did not follow his prescription of big spending and aggressive monetary easing to rescue the economy from decades of weak growth and deflation.

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