Masaaki Shirakawa



Masaaki Shirakawa
Bank of Japan

Masaaki Shirakawa worked at the Bank of Japan for 34 years before leaving in 2006 to teach at the Kyoto University School of Government.  He returned to the bank when he was appointed Governor in 2008.  Mr. Shirakawa has been Chair of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Asian Consultative Council since 2010, and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BIS since 2011.

Mr. Shirakawa received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago.  He held numerous positions at the Bank of Japan, gaining experience both in the domestic and international spheres.  In 2008, the Japanese Parliament vetoed two nominations for the position of Governor of the bank, and subsequently appointed Mr. Shirakawa.

When Japan’s asset bubble burst in the early 1990s, Mr. Shirakawa was one of the first policymakers to recognize the seriousness of the problem.  In 1993, he wrote an internal report to top Bank of Japan officials predicting that Japanese banks would most likely incur substantial losses from bad loans, and forecasted a credit crunch and liquidity crisis.

Since 2009 Mr. Shirawaka has been a member of the Group of Thirty, a private, nonprofit international body whose representatives from the private and public sectors and academia aim to expand understanding of international economic and financial issues.

Mr. Shirawaka’s term as Governor ends in 2013.  He is eligible for reappointment by the cabinet if approved by both chambers of Parliament.

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