MANILA, Philippines – The government of Japan has named Takehiko Nakao, the Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, as its nominee to become President of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In a statement on Tuesday, March 7, Japan Minister of Finance Taro Aso said the government nominated Nakao for his extensive knowledge of the Asian region.
ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda has resigned in February 28 in light of his nomination as Governor of the Bank of Japan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Kuroda’s resignation from ADB takes effect on March 18.
If his nomination is accepted by the ADB Board of Governors, Nakao will become ADB’s 9th President. All of ADB’s past presidents, including Kuroda, have been Japanese.
“Japan has the pleasure of nominating Mr. Takehiko Nakao, currently serving as Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, as a candidate to succeed Mr. Kuroda as President of the ADB. Having served in many areas within the Ministry of Finance, and in particular in the international side of it, including as Director-General of the International Bureau and Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs, Mr. Nakao has gained extensive experiences in international finance and development,” Aso said.
“He has broad and in-depth knowledge of the Asian region. Against this backdrop, I strongly believe that Mr. Nakao is the most qualified candidate for fulfilling the important responsibilities of the ADB President,” he added.
Nakao, for his part, shared his vision for the ADB. He said the Manila-based multilateral development bank’s Strategy 2020 “will remain a crucial guide for the mission of the institution.”
He said that throughout his term, he intends to promote and encourage public-private partnerships in the region as well as highlight the importance of improving the investment climate. Nakao also said that he will ensure the bank is able to help middle income countries in their goal to join the world’s advanced economies.
Nakao also said he will also extend his support to unleashing the potential of ADB’s staff by encouraging them to make the best use of their skills and talents.
“The ADB, together with other international partners, can encourage countries to continue to pursue sound macroeconomic policies, make progress in needed structural reforms and improve governance. An open, sound, and vibrant financial sector is indispensable to supporting small- and medium-sized companies, as well as to encouraging foreign direct investment, which brings with it technology and know-how,” Nakao said.
“I will further strengthen the ADB’s partnership with all its development partners, including member governments, multilateral organizations and civil society. Development should, by nature, be country-driven. At the same time, aid coordination should be further promoted to make the support from the international community still more effective,” he added.
Nakao has been with the Ministry of Finance of Japan since 1978. He worked in various Bureaus such as Tax, Security, and International Finance. From 1994 through 1997, Nakao worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington, D.C., as a senior-level staff economist (Advisor in the Policy Development and Review Department).
Since 1997, Mr. Nakao worked as Director, Non-bank Division, Banking Bureau, and Director, International Organization Division, International Bureau, Budget Examiner, Budget Bureau in charge of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Trade and Industry, and ODA, Director of Development Policy Division, International Bureau, and Director of the Coordination Division of the Bureau.
Between 2005 and 2007, he was assigned as Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. After returning to Japan, he became Senior Deputy Director-General of the International Bureau and played the role of Financial Sub Sherpa for G8 Summit, and then became in July 2009 Director General of the Bureau. Since August 2011, he has been at the current position.
He served as Visiting Professor at University of Tokyo during the first semesters of 2010 and 2011 teaching international finance for graduate and undergraduate students every Saturday. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo, 1978 and a MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, 1982. Mr. Nakao was born in 1956. He is married to Asako with two children. – with reports from Cai Ordinario/Rappler.com