Nomura, Morgan Stanley-MUFG economists tapped for BOJ board

Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:29am EDT
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By Rie Ishiguro and Kaori Kaneko

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two prominent economists, including a vocal advocate of aggressive monetary easing, are the new nominees for empty seats on the Bank of Japan's nine-member policy council after lawmakers rejected an earlier candidate for not aggressively supporting looser policy.

The nominations of Takehiro Sato, chief economist at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities, and Takahide Kiuchi, chief economist at Nomura Securities, need approval by both houses of parliament.

If approved, they will replace Hidetoshi Kamezaki and Seiji Nakamura, both former business executives whose terms expired in April, and serve five-year terms. The nine-member board would then recover full strength as early as July.

Sato, a well-known BOJ watcher, has frequently criticized the central bank for not doing enough to beat deflation and has called for more aggressive measures to reflate the economy. Kiuchi has taken a more neutral approach on monetary policy.

Early in April, legislators in the opposition-controlled upper house turned down the government nomination of Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo and a respected central bank watcher, signaling that lawmakers intend to keep up pressure on the BOJ for more monetary stimulus to boost the economy.

Analysts say the new choices may help the BOJ communicate better with markets.

"Both of them are close to markets. They may have been chosen because they can see things from a market's perspective," said Hideo Kumano, chief economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

An opposition party lawmaker said parliament will aim to vote on the nominations around June 21, when the current Diet session closes.   Continued...

A Japanese flag flutters atop the Bank of Japan building in Tokyo May 23, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai