TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan on Monday appointed one of its most prominent economists to head a division drafting monetary policy, as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic complicates policymakers’ efforts to predict the economic outlook.
Takuji Kawamoto, a career central banker with a PhD in economics, will head the BOJ’s policy planning division, a post predominantly held by staff with law degrees given its emphasis on speech writing and monetary policy drafting.
Kawamoto, who previously headed a team conducting economic research, has written numerous reports analysing Japan’s economic trends and theories behind the BOJ’s policies, including one in 2017 explaining why Japan failed to hit the central bank’s 2% inflation target.
The appointment, which takes effect on Monday, comes at a time when many central banks face the delicate task of navigating their economies through a pandemic-driven transition, while seeking to broaden their roles into uncharted territory such as climate change.
The BOJ’s policy planning division, which is part of its monetary affairs department, is charged with preparing speech drafts and monetary policy ideas for deliberation and approval by the central bank’s nine-member, decision-making board.
Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Jacqueline Wong