Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guessing Game: Why Fukui Rerun, for God’s Sake?

follow up to this post…

When all the main Japanese dailies reported that the LDP had proposed that Toshihiko Fukui, the current BOJ Governor, and Mutō Toshirō, one of the two Deputy Governors and favorite candidate of the coalition, business and mainstream media, stay on for another term, I’m sure that everyone had the same thought, namely, WTFBBQ? Of course the DPJ said no way, leading to near identical headlines on all the reports.

This particular turn of events (if true - Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura denied that such a proposal had been made) reflected badly on Prime Minister Fukuda, and rightly so. Now all things unconsidered, that would be a great choice during these troubled times. (You also wish that there had been provisions in the BOJ Act in the first place for a Governor or Deputies continuing to perform their duties during a (now near-inevitable) interregnum, like most institutional by-laws.) But Mr. Fukuda would have been nuts to have expected that the DPJ would say yes. He’s looking wussy lately, but a moron he is not. So what’s going on?

My guess is, the Fukuda administration is stalling while MOF and its internationalist allies lobby other major ADB shareholders (US and who else?) to make sure that Japan can continue to impose a Japanese President on the ADB if Haruhiko Kuroda vacates the post to be appointed BOJ Governor. I think that, in that case, they want to replace Haruhiko Kuroda with the recently retired (from MOF) Hiroshi Watanabe.

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