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Newly appointed Bank of Japan Policy Board member Tadao Noda said Monday that entrusting stockholdings with trust banks is one way to boost the transparency of senior BOJ officials’ financial assets.

“Entrusting stockholdings with trust banks is a strong option,” said Noda, 59, a former deputy president of Mizuho Financial Group Inc., at his first news conference as a BOJ board member.

Noda stressed that his comments were his personal opinion.

He was responding to a question about how senior BOJ officials should deal with mounting criticism of BOJ Gov. Toshihiko Fukui over his investment in a fund run by high-profile financier Yoshiaki Murakami, who was arrested June 5 for alleged insider stock trading.

Fukui told a Diet panel last week he had invested 10 million yen in the Murakami fund and still has money in the fund.

Noda said he is in the process of placing his stockholdings with trust banks due to the controversy over Fukui’s investments.

Regarding moves to require disclosure of financial assets of senior BOJ officials, including Policy Board members, Noda said individuals’ property and privacy rights should be taken into consideration when setting the rules.

Noda also repeatedly stressed the investment controversy is “a matter for Gov. Fukui as an individual.”

On monetary policy, Noda said he will make his own decision on when the central bank should scrap the “zero-interest-rate” policy by scrutinizing economic data and discussing the issue with the other members of the policy board.

He said he does not feel “uncomfortable” with an inflation reference range of zero to 2 percent, with a median of 1 percent, which was presented the BOJ board on March 9, after it ended the central bank’s quantitative easing policy.

Noda expressed confidence about the future, saying the economy is expected to post sustainable growth.

Noda, who became chairman of Chuo Real Estate Co. in June 2005 after leaving Mizuho Financial Group, was appointed Saturday by the government to serve on the nine-member policymaking panel of the BOJ, replacing Shin Nakahara 68, whose term ended Friday.

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