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Wednesday, 9th March 2016
In General Japan News,

New member announced for BOJ board

Makoto Sakurai has been confirmed as the new member of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) board, due to take up his position on April 1st.

The think tank executive will fill the position being vacated by Sayuri Shirai, the former International Monetary Fund economist, whose term comes to an end on March 31st.

News of the decision to appoint Sakurai was announced through an official document released by the Japanese government.

The board is made up of nine members and Shirai’s departure sees the only female participant leaving.

As well as ridding it of the small amount of gender diversity, the change will also tip the balance towards the strategy set out by Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

Shirai was one of just four members to vote against adopting negative interest rates in January and it is thought that Sakurai will be in favour of the policy.

It is all part of a strategy by the BOJ to ensure it reaches its target of two per cent inflation.

Sakurai’s background includes being a director of the Center for International Finance at Japan’s MSK Research Institute.

He also spent time at Yale University in the US and worked as an adviser to the Ministry of Finance and various Japanese financial institutions.

It will take time before it is fully known where Sakurai stands on various points within monetary policy, but it is thought he has been chosen as someone unlikely to stand in the way of premier Shinzo Abe’s ambitions.

These include aggressive monetary policy easing and have been dubbed Abenomics.
Yasunari Ueno, chief market economist at Mizuho Securities, said: “Given that monetary policy is a key element of Abenomics, I don’t think Abe picked someone who would be an obstacle to Kuroda’s aggressive stimulus.

“If the nomination is approved by the Diet, it would make it easier for Kuroda to garner support for his policy management at the board.”