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Haruhiko Kuroda is a contender for a second term as Bank of Japan governor, according to a majority of economists replying to a survey ahead of a BOJ Policy Board meeting this week.

A third of analysts surveyed listed Kuroda as the only possible candidate to lead the bank after his current term ends in April 2018, the poll shows. He will be 73 years old then, and 78 if he stays through the end of a second term.

“The chances of Kuroda doing another term are more than 60 percent,” said Yasunari Ueno, the chief market economist at Mizuho Securities Co. If Kuroda declines a second term, Columbia University professor Takatoshi Ito is the most likely person, according to Ueno.

Hiroshi Ugai, chief economist at JPMorgan Securities Japan Co., said Kuroda is the most likely choice, while BOJ Executive Director Masayoshi Amamiya is another possibility.

Other names mentioned by those surveyed were Ambassador to Switzerland Etsuro Honda, BOJ Deputy Gov. Hiroshi Nakaso and Nobuchika Mori, head of the Financial Services Agency.

The terms of the two deputy governors also end next April. Kuroda will be 73 then, and would be 78 at the end of a second term in office. No governor has served for 10 years since the bank was founded in 1882. Kuroda declined to comment when asked in March whether he would stay on as governor if asked, saying that it was the prerogative of the Diet and Cabinet to choose the governor.

None of the economists surveyed said they see the BOJ changing policy this week, and the vast majority don’t expect any change until after Kuroda’s current term ends.

More than 80 percent of those who predict tightening as the BOJ’s next move don’t see it happening until after April, up from less than half who held that view in the survey prior to the last meeting.

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