FACTBOX-Profiles of Bank of Japan policy board members

(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP])

TOKYO, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – Following are profiles of the Bank
of Japan’s policy board members. The board currently has two
vacancies.

MASAAKI SHIRAKAWA, 60, governor

A career central banker who took the helm of the BOJ in April
2008, Shirakawa has led the implementation of unconventional
policy steps including corporate debt buying in the wake of the
collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers later that year.

The BOJ decided in October to begin phasing out its corporate
debt buying programme, but Shirakawa has vowed to maintain very
low interest rates to support Japan’s economy.

He called the BOJ’s new fixed-rate, three-month funding
operation adopted at an emergency meeting last month a form of
quantitative easing — the policy of flooding the markets with
cash that the BOJ used earlier this decade to help the economy
overcome an early period of deflation.

Shirakawa emphasised that the BOJ has no intention of
monetising government debt and does not think the new operation,
in which it accepts both corporate and government debt as
collateral, will lead to debt monetisation.

Previously an economics professor, Shirakawa has been
cautious about the economy, repeating that the outlook is highly
uncertain and deflation may last longer than initially expected.

Markets regard him as neutral on monetary policy.

HIROHIDE YAMAGUCHI, 58, deputy governor

A central banker for more than 30 years, Yamaguchi was a BOJ
executive director when he was appointed to his current position
in October 2008.

Yamaguchi, whose views are thought to be close to those of
Shirakawa, has mostly toed the BOJ’s official line on monetary
policy.

He has said that despite recent falls in consumer prices,
Japan is not in a deflationary spiral.

Yamaguchi said in early November that the chances of Japan
returning to recession soon are small as the economy is still
recovering modestly.

KIYOHIKO NISHIMURA, 56, deputy governor

A former professor at the University of Tokyo and a
statistics expert, Nishimura joined the BOJ board in 2005 and was
appointed a deputy governor in March 2008.

Nishimura, who has voted with the majority on policy
decisions, warned in October that the risks facing Japan’s
economy remain high, indicating his view that the central bank
must stick to its easy monetary policy for now. [ID:nT241598]

HIDETOSHI KAMEZAKI, 66

Kamezaki, a former senior executive vice president of Japan’s
biggest trading firm, Mitsubishi Corp, joined the board in April
2007. He has broad overseas experience at the trading house.

He was among four dissenters when the BOJ cut rates to 0.3
percent in October 2008, calling instead for a cut to 0.25
percent.

He has voted with the board and toed the BOJ’s official line
since then.

In June, Kamezaki warned that the waves of government debt
being issued around the world to fund stimulus measures could
push up interest rates. [ID:nT144918]

SEIJI NAKAMURA, 67

Nakamura, who joined the board in April 2007, was formerly
head of a unit of Japanese ocean freight firm Mitsui OSK Lines.
His career was spent mostly in the finance and planning sections
of Mitsui OSK.

He also dissented when the BOJ cut rates to 0.3 percent in
October 2008, favouring instead a cut to 0.25 percent. He has
toed the BOJ’s official line since then.

MIYAKO SUDA, 61

A former economics professor, Suda is seen by markets as
holding hawkish views on monetary policy and has been more
critical than other board members of the idea of the BOJ buying
corporate debt.

She was the sole opponent of the BOJ’s decision January last
year to buy corporate bonds maturing within a year, arguing that
such a step would do little to ease credit strains.

Suda said a day after the BOJ’s decision on the extra
short-term funding that the central bank was open to any policy
options if the economy was to undershoot its forecasts.

TADAO NODA, 62

Noda, a banking industry (Read more about the banking industry recovery.) veteran, joined the BOJ board in
June 2006 and has been seen as holding hawkish views on monetary
policy when times were good for the economy.

But he has been cautious about the economy after the global
economic crisis and warned in July that he was not optimistic
about corporate financing conditions. [ID:nT363083]

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(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano)

FACTBOX-Profiles of Bank of Japan policy board members