Shijuro Ogata, ex-BOJ exec who witnessed Plaza Accord, dies at 86


Shijuro Ogata, who as Bank of Japan executive director witnessed the historic 1985 Plaza Accord of economic policy coordination among major nations, died of heart failure Monday, it was learned Wednesday. He was 86.

His wife is Sadako Ogata, a former U.N. high commissioner for refugees.

Shijuro Ogata joined the BOJ in 1950 and was involved mainly in international affairs.

In August 1971, as chief of the general affairs section of the predecessor of the BOJ’s International Department, Ogata handled financial market turmoil caused by the so-called Nixon Shock, following actions engineered by then-U.S. President Richard M. Nixon, including the step to make the dollar effectively inconvertible to gold.

In September 1985, as executive director, he accompanied then-BOJ Gov. Satoshi Sumita to a meeting in New York of finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Five countries — Britain, France, Japan, the United States and West Germany. The officials produced an agreement, known as the Plaza Accord, to weaken the dollar to help reduce the U.S. budget and current account deficits.

After leaving the BOJ, Ogata took such posts as deputy head of the Japan Development Bank, currently the Development Bank of Japan.

His father, the late Taketora Ogata, served as deputy prime minister under the government of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida in the 1950s.