BoJ chief nominee Kuroda vows to defeat deflation
TOKYO - The government's nominee for Bank of Japan chief Haruhiko Kuroda said Monday that clearing a 2 percent inflation target as early as possible will be critical for the central bank as it seeks to arrest deflation.
"Achieving the price stability target is the most important mission" for the next BOJ governor, the Asian Development Bank president said during a confirmation hearing at a lower house panel.
Kuroda said Japan's central bank should carry out bolder monetary easing to attain the target, arguing that the current asset purchases by the BOJ are "not enough" in size and scope.
The Diet began hearings with Kuroda to determine whether he is qualified to take over as BOJ chief. The Diet will hold hearings Tuesday with deputy governor nominees Gakushuin University professor Kikuo Iwata and BOJ Executive Director Hiroshi Nakaso.
The appointments of the BOJ governor and deputy governors must be approved by both chambers of the Diet. As the Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition lacks a majority in the House of Councillors, support from the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan will be essential for approval.
The government proposed to the Diet on Thursday the appointment of Kuroda, an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, as the next central bank chief, and Iwata and Nakaso as next BOJ deputy governors.
BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa is expected to step down March 19 along with his deputies, before his five-year term expires April 8.
The government, the LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito party want to avoid a recurrence of a vacancy in the BOJ leadership that resulted in 2008 after the DPJ, which was the largest opposition party at the time, rejected the government's nominees.