Kazuo Ueda nominated next Bank of Japan governor

Kazuo Ueda nominated next Bank of Japan governor

Kazuo Ueda nominated next Bank of Japan governor

Economics professor Kazuo Ueda was nominated yesterday as the Bank of Japan’s next governor, tasked with navigating a way forward after a decade of extraordinary monetary easing.

The respected economist, described as careful and cautious, was a surprise pick for the change of guard after the outgoing governor’s deputy reportedly turned down the job.

The position will likely be tough going, with Ueda facing pressure to join international peers in tightening while avoiding panic by suddenly unwinding the bank’s longstanding ultra-loose policies.

In an example of the economic headwinds facing Japan, data released yesterday showed that GDP expanded just 0.2 percent in the last quarter of 2022, a smaller rebound than expected despite a long-awaited reopening to tourists.

Ueda was nominated by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, according to a government document handed to reporters, a decision expected to be easily approved in parliament where the ruling coalition commands a healthy majority.

BoJ official Shinichi Uchida and former bureaucrat Ryozo Himino were nominated as deputy governors, completing another all-male line-up at the top of the institution.

A former BoJ policy board member, Ueda will take the reins from Haruhiko Kuroda, the central bank’s longest-serving leader and the architect of its easing policies.

Kuroda, 78, is due to step down on April 8 when his second term ends.

He leaves 71-year-old Ueda the challenge of working out the bank’s next steps, said Saori N. Katada, an international relations professor at the University of Southern California.

“This is probably the hardest job at the worst time to take up. Professor Ueda is very brave to accept it,” she told AFP.

Economy, Bank of Japan,