Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a chance to appoint a second female to the Bank of Japan’s Policy Board next year, which would mark a first in the institution’s 132-year history, said one of his advisers, Etsuro Honda.

“Increasing the number of females would be a good thing,” Honda, 59, said in a recent interview at the prime minister’s office. At the same time, the central bank needs people who “clearly understand” the importance of reflationary policy for the success of “Abenomics,” he said.

With Sayuri Shirai the only woman on the BOJ’s nine-member board, adding a second female policymaker would bolster Abe’s bid to promote women in management in business and government.

Installing a proponent of inflation-boosting measures would give more leeway to Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda after his decision to increase easing last month faced opposition from four members.

“The 5-4 vote suggests that Kuroda may face a situation where he can’t add stimulus even if he has to,” said Honda, an academic who has known Abe for three decades. “The appointment of new board members is very important for Japan’s economy.”

Two seats on the Policy Board will open up next year, with Ryuzo Miyao’s term ending on March 25 and Yoshihisa Morimoto’s expiring on June 30. Miyao voted in favor of the BOJ’s decision on Oct. 31 to increase already-record asset purchases to spur inflation toward the bank’s target, while Morimoto dissented.

Honda declined to comment on board candidates, saying the decisions are up to Abe and the Diet. Honda advised Abe on leadership picks for the bank when the prime minister chose Kuroda and the two deputies, who began the BOJ’s unprecedented easing in April 2013.

Shirai is the third woman to sit on the BOJ’s board, after Eiko Shinotsuka from 1998 to 2001 and Miyako Suda from 2001 to 2011.

Shirai, whose term runs to March 2016, supported last month’s decision for more expansive easing along with Miyao, Kuroda and the two deputy governors. She has called for the central bank to improve its external communications and emphasized that the BOJ should continue easing until 2 percent inflation is stable, the BOJ’s policy goal.

Appointments to the Policy Board require approval of both Diet chambers.

Some central banks around the world have sought to reduce gender imbalances in their management. Janet Yellen became the first female to head the U.S. Federal Reserve this year, while the Bank of England named a second woman to its nine-member Monetary Policy Committee. The Bank of Thailand is one of the most advanced on that front with 31 women among its 60 top executives.

Abe has promoted increased female employment as a way to address the effects on the economy of the nation’s shrinking population. He has four female ministers in his 19-member Cabinet, and aims to have women in 30 percent of management positions in companies and government offices by 2020.

Japan ranked 104th in a global gender gap survey by the World Economic Forum this year.

Abe’s effort to support female workers ranked as the most welcome of his policies, a Nikkei newspaper survey showed this week, with 21 percent of respondents supporting it.

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