The lower house of Japan’s parliament approved on Tuesday the government nominee for the central bank’s policy board, Asahi Noguchi, an academic known for his reflationist stance, paving the way for endorsement by the upper chamber on Wednesday.
Noguchi, a 62-year-old economics professor at Senshu University, would take over from Makoto Sakurai whose five-year term expires at the end of March, likely swaying the nine-member board’s balance in favour of powerful easing, analysts say.
Noguchi is a long-time advocate of an inflation target even before the Bank of Japan – which has been trying to vanquish two decades of deflation – adopted one in 2013.
He has also lectured ruling party lawmakers on modern monetary theory (MMT) – a concept floated by some US academics as a means to boost the economy via unlimited money-printing.
Besides Noguchi and BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, five of the nine members in the board are considered reflationists. Sakurai was also known for his pro-reflationary views, but he has recently voiced concern over the growing negative impact of prolonged easing.
The nomination, which needs approval by both chambers of parliament to take effect, is seen as almost a done deal given a solid majority by the ruling coalition.