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The Japanese government on Monday denied a news report that it had sounded out Masayoshi Amamiya, the central bank’s number two official and its chief monetary strategist, to succeed as its next chair.
Citing government and ruling coalition officials, the Nikkei newspaper said Tokyo had approached Amamiya as it made final arrangements to present its nominations for the Bank of Japan governor and the deputy governors later this month.
“We are aware of the report but there is no such truth,” Yoshihiko Isozaki, the deputy chief cabinet secretary, said at a news conference, adding that the government will choose the person “most appropriate” for the governorship role.
The nomination of Amamiya, who has been widely tipped to succeed incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda, would end months of speculation over who will take on the delicate task of steering Asia’s most advanced economy towards interest rate normalisation.
The yen briefly hit a one-month low against the US dollar, falling to about ¥132.50 early on Monday as speculation spread that Amamiya would not depart radically from Kuroda’s ultra-loose monetary policy.
The currency later regained ground after finance minister Shunichi Suzuki told reporters that he was not aware of the government approaching Amamiya.
“We think it will be difficult for him to shift his and board members’ mind from their current dovish stance to suddenly be hawkish, especially on inflation outlook,” Masamichi Adachi, chief economist at UBS in Tokyo, wrote in a report, adding that market reaction should be limited since Amamiya has been the top candidate to succeed Kuroda.