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BOJ soon to add reflationist, banker

Jiji Press

Goshi Kataoka

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — An economist touting reflationary economic policies and an executive of a major Japanese commercial bank were nominated by the government Tuesday as members of the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board.

Their appointments are expected to win parliamentary approval by June.

Goshi Kataoka, chief economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., and Hitoshi Suzuki, director at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, will replace Takahide Kiuchi and Takehiro Sato, both retiring from the nine-member board in July upon expiration of their terms.

Kataoka will be a third board member of the central bank after Kikuo Iwata, vice BOJ governor, and Yutaka Harada to pursue growth through substantial quantitative monetary easing to realize uninterrupted inflation.

After the departure of Kiuchi and Sato, the two dissenters to the ongoing massive easing campaign, and the addition of Kataoka, the BOJ board will unlikely discuss details of side effects of the extremely accommodative policy, such as weakening market functions, critics pointed out.

Suzuki, former vice president of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, has served as market division head at the commercial bank.

His appointment marks the revival of a “megabank quota” on the BOJ board, which was scrapped after Koji Ishida from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. retired last year, people familiar with the matter said, adding Suzuki may try to put a brake on the BOJ’s move to expand its negative interest policy, which works to cut commercial banks’ earnings.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “seems eager to increase its influence over BOJ policies” by replacing the dissenters with the reflationist and the banker, said Hiroshi Shiraishi, senior economist of BNP Paribas Securities (Japan) Ltd.Speech

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