Japan to appoint budget chief Chatani top finance bureaucrat






This photo provided shows Eiji Chatani. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Japanese government will appoint Eiji Chatani, director general of the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Office, as the country’s new top finance official, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Chatani, 58, will succeed Koji Yano, 59, as deputy finance minister, the highest bureaucratic post in Japan’s most powerful ministry, with an official announcement to be made as soon as next week.

A graduate of the University of Tokyo, Chatani has worked primarily in the Budget Bureau since joining the ministry in 1986.

In the new position, he will be responsible for the difficult task of balancing economic revitalization and fiscal reconstruction amid increased government spending to fight inflation and rebuild a pandemic-hit economy.

Chatani’s predecessor, Yano, who assumed the post of deputy minister in July 2021, was formerly secretary to former prime minister Yoshihide Suga, who was then chief cabinet secretary, from December 2012 to July 2015.

Yano gained attention for an article published in a monthly magazine in October 2021, in which he said that the political debates during the presidential election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and others resembled a “spending contest sumptuous”, referring to the stimulus promises of party leaders.

It is unusual for serving deputy finance ministers, who are often replaced after a year, to express opinions.

Chatani, who was born in Nara prefecture, became budget chief in July 2021 after serving as director general of the minister’s secretariat at the finance ministry.

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