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2013年2月27日 (水)

日銀総裁人事案 官僚出身を理由に排除するな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 27, 2013)
Being an ex-bureaucrat not good reason for rejection as BOJ chief
日銀総裁人事案 官僚出身を理由に排除するな(2月26日付・読売社説)

A key personnel decision will determine whether the nation can overcome deflation. The ruling and opposition parties should smoothly carry out procedures to ensure the Diet approves the government's appointments for the next governor and two deputy governors of the Bank of Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met with New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, to explain the impending appointments of the three top central bank officials to replace the current officeholders, who will step down on March 19.

The government is set to tap Haruhiko Kuroda, former vice finance minister for international affairs and current president of the Asian Development Bank, to replace Masaaki Shirakawa as governor of the central bank. Gakushuin University Prof. Kikuo Iwata and Bank of Japan Executive Director Hiroshi Nakaso are candidates to fill the deputy governor posts.

After his talks with Abe, Yamaguchi showed a positive stance on accepting the prospective candidates, saying, "They basically fit the requirements [for the posts]."

The government will formally submit the personnel proposals to the Diet shortly.

Kuroda directed a massive currency market intervention to stop the appreciation of the yen when he served as vice finance minister for international affairs--the post responsible for international monetary policies--for 3-1/2 years. He assumed the ADB presidency in 2005.


Kuroda meets Abe's criteria

He has insisted on the need to carry out bold monetary easing measures, including the introduction of an inflation target. He also has criticized the central bank, saying the cause of deflation is attributable to its failure in monetary policies.

Abe is using what is referred to as "Abenomics" to overcome deflation.
In explaining the requirements of the new Bank of Japan governor, Abe said he wants "someone who understands my views on monetary policy and tackles the issue with a resolute determination and ability." We consider his choice meets these criteria.

Whether the government can obtain Diet approval for Kuroda to assume the central bank governor's post hinges on the House of Councillors, where the opposition bloc holds a majority. In essence, approval largely depends on whether the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition party, supports Kuroda.

Kuroda's qualifications match those the DPJ considers vital for the governor's post in terms of practical expertise in financial affairs, broad international personnel networks, ability to communicate and capacity for organizational management.

The DPJ will have no reason to flatly oppose the appointment if it can confirm Kuroda's willingness to proactively work to achieve a 2 percent inflation target and cooperate with the government when he gives his opinions before both houses of the Diet.


Will DPJ cooperate?

Five years ago, the DPJ caused a situation in which the central bank governor's post became vacant because the party refused to name a former bureaucrat to the post. This time, Your Party is opposed to having a former bureaucrat appointed to that post. We consider it unwise to question someone's professional background without considering the person's qualifications.

Some DPJ members consider it problematic that the government's personnel plans were reported by the media before being formally submitted to the Diet. Although it was once decided the Diet would reject the government's personnel appointments if they were leaked by the media prior to being officially submitted, this ridiculous rule has been scrapped. It will be a problem if the DPJ brings up the issue and tries to resurrect this rule.

The judgment each opposition party makes on the Bank of Japan personnel proposals, which the government considers most important, will determine to what extent they will keep the Abe administration at arm's length or whether they will cooperate.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 26, 2013)
(2013年2月26日01時21分  読売新聞)


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