Kuroda Offers Bank of Japan Deflation-Fight Credibility

Asian Development Bank’s leader may be the next BOJ chief.

The Bank of Japan may pack a bigger punch under Haruhiko Kuroda, an opponent of deflation who ran the nation’s currency policy and then built an international reputation leading the Asian Development Bank.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters yesterday that Kuroda, 68, would be a “correct” choice as the next BOJ chief and noted his background in international finance. Two people familiar with the discussions earlier said Kuroda is Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pick for the post. Kuroda was in charge of foreign-exchange issues at the Ministry of Finance from 1999 to 2003.

Intellectual Bent

His dream was to be a teacher, according to the IMF profile, an objective he fulfilled for a time as a professor at Tokyo’s Hitotsubashi University after he left the Finance Ministry in 2003. While at the ministry, he wrote a paper titled “Socrates: The Dollar Dialogue,” in which the ancient Greek philosopher muses on the efforts by international policy makers to manage foreign exchange rates.

ADB Role

Leading the ADB since 2005, Kuroda has had a seat at international economic gatherings and observed from abroad how the BOJ for years resisted establishing an inflation target. Shirakawa and his colleagues on the current board took the step of setting a 2 percent goal last month, acting weeks after the election of Abe on a platform of reflation.

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