(Repeats to widen distribution)
* PM Abe to submit gov't nominee to parliament next week
* Kuroda shares Abe's view on need for bold easing
(Adds details, background)
TOKYO, Feb 23 Asian Development Bank President
Haruhiko Kuroda is the leading candidate to be the government's
nominee for the Bank of Japan governorship, the Asahi newspaper
reported, which would signal a shift toward more aggressive
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make a final decision soon,
in consultation with Finance Minister Taro Aso, and submit the
government's nominee for parliamentary approval next week, the
paper said on Saturday.
Kuroda, Japan's former top financial diplomat, has been
regarded as among the key candidates to succeed incumbent BOJ
Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who leaves the central bank with his
two deputies on March 19 after a five-year term.
Former top financial bureaucrat Toshiro Muto and Kazumasa
Iwata, a former government economist and deputy BOJ governor,
have also been floated as strong candidates to be the next BOJ
Kuroda is now leading the race, Asahi cited Finance Ministry
officials and senior government officials as saying.
Abe, now in Washington, said he planned to seek the backing
of a junior coalition partner and opposition parties over the
nomination of a new BOJ governor on his return from his U.S.
trip on Sunday.
The nomination of the next BOJ governor must be approved by
both houses of parliament. Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party
lacks a majority in the upper house and needs support from
opposition parties to get the nomination passed.
As Japan's top financial diplomat from 1999 to 2003, Kuroda
aggressively intervened in the exchange-rate market to weaken
the yen to support the country's export-reliant economy.
He has also been a vocal advocate of more aggressive
monetary easing, a view in line with that of Abe, making him a
strong candidate to head the BOJ.
If Kuroda were to be chosen as next BOJ governor, he would
be cutting short his term as head of the ADB, which could weaken
Japan's standing as the country that traditionally provides the
head of the organisation established in 1966.
(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Jon Hemming and Peter