Japan government nominates Kuroda for BOJ governor

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By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kaori Kaneko | February 28, 2013 1:49 PM EST

Japan's government nominated Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda to be the next Bank of Japan governor on Thursday, aiming to install an advocate of aggressive monetary easing who has extensive international experience.

The government also nominated academic Kikuo Iwata, who supports unconventional monetary policy, and BOJ official Hiroshi Nakaso, who has hands-on knowledge of the central bank's inner workings, as deputy governors, ruling party lawmaker Genichiro Sata said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was widely expected to nominate the three men to the senior BOJ posts as he aims to make good on an election pledge to push the central bank into bolder economic stimulus to try to end nearly two decades of mild deflation.

The government now has to shepherd the nominees through a vetting process in the two chambers of parliament. A lack of a majority in the upper house means Abe will need opposition support for his BOJ picks.

Kuroda, 68, would replace current BOJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa, 63, who is due to leave office on March 19 along with the two deputy governors.

In coming days, the three candidates will give testimony in parliament before lawmakers vote on the nominations.

Kuroda supports increased purchases of government bonds and other domestic assets, such as corporate bonds or exchange traded funds (ETFs), to pump cash into the economy. He has suggested two years as an appropriate amount of time for the BOJ to meet its 2 percent inflation target.

Kuroda, a former finance ministry bureaucrat who oversaw yen-selling intervention from 1999 to 2003, has said the BOJ should not buy foreign currency bonds as that constitutes currency policy.

In contrast, Iwata prefers buying more longer-dated government bonds over purchases of corporate bonds or ETFs. Nakaso, who currently oversees the BOJ's international operations, may not feature prominently in policy setting.

The lower house of parliament is sure to approve the nominees as Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner have a majority there.

(Writing by Stanley White; Editing by Neil Fullick and John Mair)

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