BOJ deputy chiefs assume posts amid bank fears, policy side effects

The Bank of Japan's new deputy governors assumed their posts Monday amid concerns about the U.S. and European banking sectors and the side effects of monetary easing at home.

Ryozo Himino, former head of the nation's financial watchdog, and Shinichi Uchida, a former executive director at the central bank who was instrumental in designing monetary policy under Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, will serve five-year terms, replacing Masayoshi Amamiya and Masazumi Wakatabe.

Kazuo Ueda, an academic and former BOJ board member, will take the helm of the central bank on April 9, succeeding Kuroda, its longest-serving governor.

During their confirmation hearings in parliament, the three men stressed the need to maintain monetary easing as the BOJ's 2 percent inflation target has yet to be achieved in a stable and sustainable fashion.

But the BOJ's increased holdings of Japanese government bonds, more than half of outstanding state debt, has led to criticism that the bond market has been distorted.

The central bank has justified its aggressive buying as a means to support the economy with low borrowing costs and attain the inflation target.

The leadership change comes as financial markets are jittery. While authorities in Japan say its banking sector is stable, the collapse of two U.S. banks has rippled through global financial markets, with troubled Credit Suisse set to be acquired by rival Swiss bank UBS.

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida decided Friday to appoint Himino and Uchida after both houses of parliament endorsed the nominees.

Himino served as commissioner of the Financial Services Agency between 2020 and 2021 after joining the Finance Ministry in 1983. Uchida started working at the central bank in 1986 and took the post of executive director in 2018.

© Kyodo News