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.

While outgoing Governor Masaaki Shirakawa established a 76 trillion yen ($808 billion) asset-purchase fund and an unlimited bank-loan financing program, he failed to encourage inflation expectations, instead warning repeatedly about the dangers of excess stimulus. By contrast, Kuroda called for an inflation target a decade before the bank adopted one in January, and for years has spoken in favor of quantitative easing.

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