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BOJ deputy gov Iwata hospitalised for lower back surgery

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Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata has been hospitalised since March 16 for surgery on his lower back and plans to return to his duties in mid-April, the central bank said on Wednesday.

[TOKYO] Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Kikuo Iwata has been hospitalised since March 16 for surgery on his lower back and plans to return to his duties in mid-April, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Mr Iwata, 73, had surgery on March 17 to relieve spinal stenosis, the BOJ said, which is a condition where a narrowing in the spinal column causes nerve pain.

Mr Iwata is expected to attend the BOJ's next monetary policy meeting on April 27-28, the central bank said.

Mr Iwata's surgery was done at a time of heightened interest in the composition of the BOJ's nine-person policy board.

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Two board members will be replaced this year, and many analysts are wondering how this will affect the BOJ's adoption this year of negative interest rates.

The central bank informed the upper house of Japan's parliament about Mr Iwata's medical condition earlier on Wednesday after he was requested to appear in parliament.

Jiji news agency first reported Mr Iwata's illness earlier on Wednesday.

Mr Iwata is an architect of the BOJ's quantitative easing programme that it launched in April 2013.

Japan's lower house of parliament gave its approval on Tuesday for academic and reflationist Makoto Sakurai to join the BOJ's divided board, replacing Sayuri Shirai whose five-year term ends on March 31.

REUTERS

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