Japan PM to work on Bank of Japan head nomination next week

WASHINGTON Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:08am GMT

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participates in a media conference at a Washington hotel, February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe participates in a media conference at a Washington hotel, February 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he plans next week to seek the backing of a junior coalition partner, the New Komeito party, and opposition parties over the nomination of a new Bank of Japan governor.

"I'll be back in Japan on Sunday. From around Monday, I want to make headway on new governor and deputy governors," Abe told a news conference in Washington.

"Next week, I would like to ask for help from opposition parties, notify candidates ... and work to win endorsement from New Komeito," he said.

Abe did not say who he had in mind for the nomination.

Abe has made clear he wants to replace BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa, who steps down with two deputies on March 19, with someone who agrees with the prime minister's push for aggressive monetary policy measures to escape the deflation that has plagued Japan for decades.

Abe needs support from opposition parties because his Liberal Democratic Party-led bloc lacks a majority in parliament's upper house, which must approve the nominees.

"I understand different parties have different ideas. But I would like to start talking with them - the Democratic Party, Your Party, Japan Restoration Party and others," Abe said in reference to opposition parties.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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