Kuroda's reported nomination as BoJ chief welcomed

Japan's finance minister and a top business leader on Monday welcomed a reported move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to nominate Haruhiko Kuroda as Bank of Japan governor.

It would be "a correct choice," minister Taro Aso told reporters in Seoul about the plan after meeting newly inaugurated South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, according to Jiji Press news agency.

Japanese media reported that Abe was set to submit his nomination of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) chief to parliament for approval this week.

The markets liked the thought of a man known to be in favour of further monetary easing, with the news sending the dollar above 94 yen in Asian trade from 93.37 yen in New York on Friday.

"Mr Kuroda is well known internationally and perfectly fit for the post," Hiromasa Yonekura, head of the powerful lobby the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), told a news conference.

He cited Kuroda's experience as a vice finance minister for international affairs, a post in charge of foreign exchange policy.

Kuroda is known as an advocate of aggressive monetary easing to overcome Japan's hard-wired deflation, a stance in line with Abe's economic policy.

"As he has directed and managed the ADB, he is fully capable of moving an organisation," said Yonekura.

If approved by parliament, Kuroda will succeed incumbent Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who is stepping down on March 19, several weeks before the end of his term.

Kuroda "backs Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's bold monetary easing policies while maintaining good links with the international financial industry," the business daily Nikkei said.

Abe also plans to pick Tokyo's Gakushuin University economics professor Kikuo Iwata as one of the deputy governors, while BoJ executive director Hiroshi Nakaso is the leading contender for the other deputy position, media reports said.

Immediate confirmation of the reports was not available.

Abe told a news conference on Friday in Washington that his government would start picking nominees on Monday after concluding his US trip, during which he held talks with President Barack Obama.

Kuroda spent decades as a Japanese finance ministry bureaucrat. He was responsible for international affairs and foreign exchange policy between 1999 and 2003 before assuming the post of ADB president in 2005.

Abe had warned he could change a law guaranteeing the bank's independence if it did not follow his prescription of big spending and aggressive monetary easing to rescue the economy from decades of weak growth and deflation.