Shirakawa Gets Bonus as Kuroda Tackles Deflation

Masaaki Shirakawa, the Bank of Japan governor who protected the nation from financial shocks while failing to defeat deflation, was awarded a 22.2 million yen ($219,000) performance bonus by his peers at the BOJ.

The payment was calculated on the basis of a 1.5 out of 2 rating for his five years at the helm, an annual report posted on the BOJ’s website yesterday showed. The central bank said previously that the assessment would be by colleagues who remained on the policy board when the governor and two deputies exited in March.

Haruhiko Kuroda, Shirakawa’s replacement, is rolling out unprecedented monetary easing to try to jolt the world’s third-biggest economy out of a deflationary malaise. In March, Shirakawa concluded what he called an “extreme” period, which included the global financial crisis, by warning that increasing the supply of money won’t be enough by itself to end deflation.

“Monetary policy of course has a role, but it’s necessary for a wide range of institutions to make efforts to boost competitiveness and growth potential,” Shirakawa said at his final press conference.

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 a BOJ spokeswoman. The rating is multiplied by monthly salary and months of service, and then divided by eight to determine the bonus.

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

Koichi Hamada, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said in an interview in Tokyo this week that he gave Kuroda a high score for his efforts during his first months in the job.

“I would avoid giving him full marks because I don’t see everything he does,” Hamada said. “I would give him about 90 percent.”

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