UPDATE 2-Japan to nominate reflationist Wakatabe as BOJ deputy gov -Nikkei

* Wakatabe seen as advocate of bolder easing

* Veteran central banker Amamiya gets other deputy post - Nikkei

* BOJ Kuroda likely to be reappointed, easy policy seen intact

* Govt to submit nominees to parliament on Friday

* Choice of Wakatabe could complicate Kuroda's task (Adds analyst quote, yen moves)

TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - The Japanese government is considering nominating economist Masazumi Wakatabe, an advocate of bolder monetary easing, as one of the Bank of Japan's two deputy governors, the Nikkei reported, a sign the bank will be in no rush to dial back its massive stimulus program.

The selection of the new BOJ leadership is crucial to global markets, which have recently been volatile on expectations major central banks will whittle down their crisis-mode stimulus.

The other deputy governor post will likely go to BOJ Executive Director Masayoshi Amamiya, a veteran central banker known for masterminding various monetary policy steps, the Nikkei economic daily reported on Friday without citing sources.

If appointed, Wakatabe would join a board divided between those who favor maintaining or even ramping up the BOJ's huge monetary support, and those who want to eventually dial down stimulus given the rising cost of prolonged easing.

"If Wakatabe becomes deputy governor, he might join other 'reflationist' board members and spearhead debate toward additional easing," said Yasunari Ueno, chief market economist at Mizuho Securities.

The government will submit to parliament nominees for the BOJ governor and deputy governors on Friday.

A source has told Reuters the government will reappoint BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda for another five-year term when the current one expires in April.

While Kuroda has pledged to maintain the BOJ's ultra-easy policy, he has refuted arguments that the stimulus program needs to be expanded and has signaled the possibility of raising interest rates if inflation prospects brighten.


Analysts say Amamiya, who has worked closely with Kuroda as an expert of monetary policy, is unlikely to rock the boat.

The choice of Wakatabe, a professor at Waseda University, could complicate Kuroda's task of engineering a slow but steady exit from the BOJ's radical monetary stimulus.

In an interview with the Nikkei last November, Wakatabe said the BOJ needs stronger measures to beat deflation and should accelerate its asset purchases.

That would require reversing a decision made in 2016 to abandon a target for asset purchases and contradict the mainstream approach of many BOJ officials, who believe the bank's next move should be a withdrawal of stimulus, not an expansion.

The yen hit a 15-month high against the dollar on Thursday, which could embolden advocates of more aggressive easing within the board as policymakers fret over the damage a strong yen could inflict on Japan's export-reliant economy.

Under Kuroda's direction, the BOJ deployed in 2013 a radical asset-buying program intended to reflate the economy out of deflation and target an inflation rate of 2 percent.

Subdued inflation forced the BOJ to revamp its policy framework in 2016 to one better suited for a long-term battle against deflation, which targets interest rates instead of the pace of money printing.

With years of ultra-low interest rates hurting bank profits, many analysts see the new BOJ leadership's biggest task as leading an orderly exit from its massive stimulus drive.

Wakatabe and Amamiya would replace incumbent deputy governors Kikuo Iwata, an academic, and Hiroshi Nakaso, a career central banker, when their terms end in March. (Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Susan Thomas and Eric Meijer)