FACTBOX-Five facts on Kikuo Iwata, possible BOJ Deputy Governor
TOKYO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Japan's government is expected to nominate Kikuo Iwata, an academic known as an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, to be the next Bank of Japan deputy governor, media reported.
The nomination must be approved by both houses of parliament including the upper house, where the ruling bloc does not have a majority and needs the support of opposition parties.
Following are five key facts about Iwata:
- A professor of economics at Tokyo's Gakushin University, Iwata, 70, has been a vocal critic of BOJ policy. He argues the central bank is mostly to blame for prolonging deflation by not easing monetary policy aggressively enough.
- He has been an advocate of a more reflationary monetary policy, saying the BOJ can push up prices by pumping more money into the economy and expanding its balance sheet.
- A prominent academic known for his studies on monetary policy, Iwata lectured newcomers in the BOJ on economics decades ago, although he has recently distanced himself from central bank bureaucrats. He also lectured a number of times at a gathering of lawmakers debating measures to beat deflation, some of which Shinzo Abe attended before becoming prime minister.
- Iwata has said the BOJ's 2 percent inflation target ought to be a flexible one that does not necessarily have to be achieved by a strict timeframe, as long as the central bank is held accountable in explaining why the target was not met.
- He has called for revising the BOJ law guaranteeing the central bank's independence so that the government can set policy objectives for the bank, which would then be left to decide how to achieve them.
(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Neil Fullick)