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Economy

Japan to endorse Asakawa as next ADB chief, finance minister says

Aso thinks nominee 'best qualified' as Japanese keep grip on development bank

The nomination reflects Japan's intent to maintain its influence over the Manila-based bank, which receives most of its funding from Tokyo.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Finance Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday the Japanese government will recommend Masatsugu Asakawa, former vice finance minister for international affairs, as the next chief of the Asian Development Bank.

In a news conference, Aso said he believes Asakawa, 61, is "the best qualified person" for the position.

On Tuesday, Takehiko Nakao, who has served as ADB president since April 2013, conveyed his intention to resign on Jan. 16, 2020, to staff and board members, according to the Manila-based development bank.

The top ADB post has been held by Japanese since the launch of the development bank in 1966, reflecting Japan's influence as the largest donor along with the United States.

Nakao, 63, also previously served as Japan's vice finance minister for international affairs and is in his current second term as ADB chief.

Aso said in a statement Japan will nominate "in an expeditious manner a high-caliber candidate" to succeed Nakao.

Asakawa became the longest-serving Japanese top currency diplomat after filling the role at the ministry from July 2015 to July this year.

He has many years of experience in global financial affairs, taking part in conferences of the Group of 20 leading economies and other major meetings.

Since stepping down as vice finance minister for international affairs in July, Asakawa, a native of Shizuoka Prefecture, has served as a special adviser to the Cabinet and the Finance Ministry.

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