ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda expected to head Bank of Japan

Haruhiko KurodaAsian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda has emerged as the leading candidate as the Japanese government's nominee for the governorship of the Bank of Japan (BoJ), The Asahi Shimbun reported.

According to commentators the appointment would signal a shift toward more aggressive monetary easing.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a final decision soon, in consultation with finance minister Taro Aso, and submit the nominee of the government for parliamentary approval next week, the paper said today.

The former top financial diplomat has been regarded as among the key candidates for succeeding incumbent BoJ governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who would leave the central bank with his two deputies on 19 March following a five-year term.

Among other contenders to the post are former top financial bureaucrat Toshiro Muto and Kazumasa Iwata, a former government economist and deputy BOJ governor.

According to Asahi which cited finance ministry officials, Kuroda was now leading the race.