* New currency official does not indicate change in policy
* Furusawa's views on currencies unknown, likely to follow
* Outgoing FX official in frame to lead Asian Development
By Stanley White
TOKYO, March 29 International financial expert
Mitsuhiro Furusawa will become Japan's vice finance minister for
international affairs, the country's top currency diplomat, the
Ministry of Finance (MOF) said on Friday.
Furusawa, 57, will assume his post on Friday, taking over
from Takehiko Nakao, who is set to become the head of the Asian
Furusawa has never worked at the ministry's section directly
in charge of currencies. He has not publicly spelled out his
stance on currency policy but he is likely to follow the G7
stance of adhering to market determined exchange rates while
standing ready to counter excessive and disorderly currency
Furusawa has headed the ministry's financial bureau since
August last year. He has also held posts at the ministry's
international bureau, dealing with development policy as well as
the Group of Seven and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Furusawa's predecessors in recent years served as the
ministry's international bureau chief just before becoming its
top currency official.
Before serving as financial bureau head, Furusawa worked at
the IMF as a member of its executive board for two years. He
also worked in senior roles at Japanese embassies in Paris and
Washington for about two years, to 1999 and 2009 respectively.
Nakao's tenure as the top financial diplomat saw Japan
intervene several times in 2011 to prevent the yen's rise from
derailing an export-led recovery in the aftermath of the
devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Japan's solo actions drew criticism from the United States.
Japan has stayed out of the markets since then.
The yen has weakened to a 3-1/2 year low against the
dollar in recent weeks on expectations for Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe's policy mix of monetary and fiscal stimulus to end nearly
two decades of stagnation and deflation.