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Shirakawa’s Colleagues at BOJ to Decide Size of Farewell Bonus

BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa
Masaaki Shirakawa, governor of the Bank of Japan. Shirakawa’s monthly pay is about 2 million yen, while his deputies Hirohide Yamaguchi and Kiyohiko Nishimura earn about 1.6 million yen, according to the BOJ. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- After five years running the Bank of Japan, Masaaki Shirakawa will get a cash bonus of as much as 29.6 million yen ($311,000) or as little as nothing, depending on how policy board members rate his tenure.

The six members who remain when Shirakawa and his two deputies step down on March 19 will grade their former colleagues, according to the BOJ. A maximum rating on a scale of zero to two would give Shirakawa enough to dine at Tokyo’s Narisawa -- voted Asia’s best restaurant -- every night for three and a half years, but not enough for the priciest tuna at Tsukiji Market.

The assessment may shed light on members’ views of a tenure in which Shirakawa failed to pull the nation of deflation even as he protected the financial system from shocks. The government’s nominee to succeed Shirakawa, Haruhiko Kuroda, said this week the BOJ could buy longer-maturity bonds and bring forward open-ended asset purchases due to start next year.

“Accountability is an important element if the BOJ is going to gain the confidence of markets,” said Robert Feldman, head of Japan economic research at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co. in Tokyo. “It’s really important to establish benchmarks and expectations for the future as to what you have to do to be considered to have performed well.”

A BOJ spokeswoman said she could not provide information on the timing of the assessment or its criteria.

The only previous governor to be scored on the scale was Shirakawa’s predecessor Toshihiko Fukui, who received a mark of 1.5, according to the spokeswoman. The rating is multiplied by monthly salary and months of service, and then divided by eight to determine the amount.

Pay Scale

Shirakawa’s monthly pay is about 2 million yen, while his deputies Hirohide Yamaguchi and Kiyohiko Nishimura earn about 1.6 million yen, according to the BOJ.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens is among the most highly paid central bankers, with a total compensation of A$986,778 ($1 million) in the year through June, 2012.

The next Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, will get basic pay of 480,000 pounds ($720,000) a year, more than the combined salaries of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank Governor Mario Draghi.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Sharp in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Panckhurst at

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