Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki on Friday backed the nomination of U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as the next World Bank chief.

Tanigaki voiced support for Wolfowitz during a session of the House of Representatives Financial Affairs Committee.

U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday he would nominate Wolfowitz to succeed James Wolfensohn, who will retire in May.

With the United States paying the largest share of contributions, the Washington-based World Bank traditionally sees its president nominated by the U.S. government.

Some countries have spoken out against Wolfowitz’s candidacy; he is viewed as a hardliner who was one of the chief architects of the Iraq war.

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