No Obstacle to Kuroda at Japan Central Bank Seen by ADBI’s Kawai

Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda can become Bank of Japan governor without his nation losing its grip on the Manila-based organization, according to the head of the ADB’s think tank.

“Japan and the U.S. are still the largest shareholders and the U.S. has no intention to assume the presidency of the ADB,” Masahiro Kawai, dean of the Tokyo-based Asian Development Bank Institute, said in an interview in the city yesterday. He said that China lacks sufficient support to grab the role and Japan can retain its hold.

Kuroda is the leading candidate to replace BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa when he exits in April, according to Masaaki Kanno, chief economist at JPMorgan Securities in Tokyo. The possible effect on Japan’s sway at the ADB was raised by lawmaker Yoshimi Watanabe, the head of the minority Your Party in parliament, who indicated in a Jan. 16 interview that Kuroda should complete a five-year term through 2016 to prevent China taking the role.

The ADB was founded in 1966 and aids development across the Asia Pacific region, including a loan for Myanmar announced this week.

Kuroda fits the profile stipulated by Finance Minister Taro Aso of having experience in managing a large organization and an international background, according to Kanno. Kawai said Kuroda has an “extremely good ability to communicate with an international audience” and would be an “excellent” pick for the role.

Kuroda said this month that the BOJ should conduct unlimited easing until it achieves its 2 percent inflation target, a view in line with that of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe has a chance to reshape the BOJ when his government nominates successors to Shirakawa and his two deputies.

The central bank on Jan. 22 committed to the inflation goal and Federal Reserve-style open-ended asset purchases, while disappointing investors by delaying the program until next year. The government should present its choices for the three BOJ officials to parliament by the end of February, ruling Liberal Democratic Party upper house parliamentary affairs chief Masashi Waki said Jan. 21.

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