Aso Praises Kuroda as Focus Turns From Fed to Next BOJ Governor

Japan’s finance minister praised Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had faith in him, comments likely to fuel speculation on whether Kuroda will get a second term.

Kuroda “made big changes to the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy,” Taro Aso told reporters in Tokyo today. Those actions brought about a weak yen, improving exports and bringing record corporate profits, Aso said. “The results show that coordinated monetary and fiscal policy worked well.”

Kuroda’s term ends in April and he is the leading contender to helm Japan’s central bank for another five years, according to a Bloomberg survey last month. Abe said last night he hasn’t decided who to pick.

Some economists, including Credit Suisse Group’s Hiromichi Shirakawa are closely watching Aso’s opinion as a key to selecting the next governor, as the finance ministry plays a critical role in communicating between the government and central bank.

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