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Kuroda is more likely than not to be reappointed at the BOJ, economist says

  • Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's term at the central bank ends April 2018
  • It would be a surprise if the current governor's term was not extended, said a top Barclays economist
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not confirmed whether Kuroda will be reappointed

An extension of current Governor Haruhiko Kuroda's term at the Bank of Japan is more likely than not, a top economist at Barclays told CNBC on Thursday.

Abe's landslide win at Japan's Oct. 22 election was perceived as a vote of confidence for his political leadership, suggesting "less political incentive" for change, Tetsufumi Yamakawa, an economist at Barclays, told CNBC on the sidelines of the Barclays Asia Forum in Singapore.

"They are going to be focusing on continuity, which would include the continuity [in] Governor Kuroda's term after April 2018," said Yamakawa.

"I would be surprised if his term is not going to be extended," he added.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to confirm whether or not Kuroda would be reappointed as governor of the central bank at a news conference on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Instead, the prime minister highlighted how the economy was "no longer in deflation" thanks to coordination between the government and the BOJ, according to Reuters.

Other potential candidates named in the media as contenders for the role include BOJ Executive Director Masayoshi Amamiya, BOJ Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso and Columbia University professor Takatoshi Ito.

Japan has grown for the last six consecutive quarters, but its economy has faced a continued inability to meet the BOJ's inflation target.

"To some extent, I think [Kuroda's] quantitative and qualitative easing plus yield curve control policy have been successful in a sense that financial conditions in Japan eased quite a lot. While there has been some improvement in the inflation trend, compared to what they have been targeting so far — a 2 percent inflation goal — they keep on failing to achieve that," Yamakawa said.