• Kyodo

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The Bank of Japan said Monday its website states that two of its Policy Board members “completed a PhD program in economics” at the University of Tokyo graduate school, not that they held doctoral degrees.

The brief website biographies for BOJ Deputy Gov. Kikuo Iwata and Policy Board member Makoto Sakurai show they completed all the necessary course work for doctorates at the university, known as Todai.

Under the education ministry’s criteria, a student finishes a PhD program when the person passes both the thesis review and the examination. Situations like those of the two BOJ policymakers are described as having “left (a school) after earning credits,” the ministry says.

The BOJ was responding to a weekly news magazine report that said Sakurai may have fabricated details of his academic record.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman, told a press conference on Monday that the matter is about “accuracy of expression,” but defended the members as having “top expertise in economic and financial policy at home and abroad.”

The central bank declined comment on whether it may change the expression.

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