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Ueda the right choice for BOJ’s post-QE era

TOKYO – Global markets are experiencing two firsts for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

One, Kishida surprised the investment world for the very first time in 16 months leading Asia’s No 2 economy. Second, he appears to be making a smart staffing choice by favoring Kazuo Ueda to lead the Bank of Japan (BOJ).

By going with a candidate virtually no one had on their possibilities list, Kishida has markets buzzing about whether Tokyo is finally plotting an exit from 23 years of zero interest rates.

Almost without exception, all of Kishida’s cabinet choices to date have been from central Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) casting. That means a sea of risk-averse, 60-something, overwhelmingly male lawmakers chosen for links to various political factions and regions, not skill or vigor.

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