Bank of Japan board reshuffle brings in new member with less dovish stance

The Bank of Japan has reshuffled its board and added a new member who is considered as more keen to end ultra-low interest rates than his dovish predecessor, potentially shifting the board away from Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s current aggressive monetary easing.

Hajime Takata, a former private economist, and Naoki Tamura, a newcomer from a commercial bank, will hold a joint inaugural news conference on Monday. They will replace Goushi Kataoka, a former economist who advocated aggressive monetary easing, and Hitoshi Suzuki, whose five-year terms expired on July 23.

The reshuffle comes ahead of a change in BOJ leadership when Kuroda’s second five-year term ends in April next year.

Last week, the European Central Bank raised rates for the first time in 11 years to combat inflation.

The BOJ was one of the few central banks with an open money tap. Kuroda vowed last week to keep interest rates ultra-low as the BOJ maintained a loose monetary policy.

Bond market expert Takata is seen as more open to curbing Kuroda’s massive stimulus program.

In a research note, he once said the BOJ could be pressured to end its ultra-loose policy if the ECB withdraws monetary stimulus such as the Fed.