Former BOJ chief Mieno dead at 88

Kyodo

Former Bank of Japan Gov. Yasushi Mieno, who helped the economy pull though after the asset bubble burst, died over the weekend at age 88, his family said Wednesday.

Mieno, who passed away Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, graduated from the University of Tokyo’s law school and joined the BOJ in 1947. He was appointed the bank’s 26th governor in December 1989, just as the bubble economy was imploding.

Under his watch, the BOJ raised its discount rate three times and Mieno was praised for helping bring the crisis under control. But he was heavily criticized after his credit-tightening policy subsequently caused land and stock prices to plummet, prompting a severe economic slump that became known as Japan’s “Lost Decade.”

Although the BOJ lowered the rate seven times while Mieno was in office, the economy failed to get back on a recovery track.

During his final days on the job, financial institutions were mired in a bad loan mess that caused a number of them to fail.

Mieno stepped down in December 1994 and was succeeded by Yasuo Matsushita, a former vice minister of finance.

He then assumed such posts as visiting professor at Kyorin University and was a member of the Yokozuna Promotion Council for the Japan Sumo Association.