Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is expected to let top officials of the Liberal Democratic Party know early this week of his choice for the next Bank of Japan governor.

“I hope it will be early next week,” Hidenao Nakagawa, chairman of the LDP’s Diet Affairs Committee, told a gathering in Osaka late Friday.

His comments are apparently based on Koizumi’s need to give senior LDP politicians sufficient time to win the necessary Diet approval for appointing the next central bank chief.

“We will swiftly refer the matter to the Diet and will obtain approval,” Nakagawa said.

The choice of successor to current Gov. Masaru Hayami, whose five-year term expires March 19, is attracting keen attention. The government has put pressure on the central bank to take more drastic measures to ease its monetary grip.

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