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Bank of Japan taps China hand to lead international division

Departure from Western focus comes at trying time for world's No. 2 economy

Personnel moves at the Bank of Japan underscore a recognition of the greater importance of China. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- When Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda was asked by a lawmaker this week about the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping through China, his reply acknowledged the increased importance of the economic superpower across the East China Sea.

Compared with the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, outbreak of 2002 and 2003, "China's economic presence has grown much larger, and we need to be conscious of the possibility that the impact will be greater," he said.

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