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Message from the Governor: On the Loss of Former Governor Mieno


April 19, 2012
Bank of Japan

I am deeply grieved to learn that former Governor Yasushi Mieno has passed away.

Mr. Mieno joined the Bank of Japan in 1947, and worked here for 47 years.  He had a wide range of experience both within and outside the Bank, including at the Economic Stabilization Board, an administrative body formed after World War II, and the Bank's Representative Office in New York.  He became the 26th Governor of the Bank in December 1989, after serving as Director-General of the Coordination Department, Director-General of the Business Department, Executive Director, and Deputy Governor.

During Mr. Mieno's governorship, Japan's economy went through a difficult period, after experiencing the peak of the bubble and then its bursting, which led to the downturn.  This was also a time when the economy was weighed down by the need to resolve a large amount of nonperforming loans, which posed a significant challenge to the stability of the financial system.  Throughout his tenure, Mr. Mieno made policy decisions supported by careful assessment of the situation and deep insight, so that Japan's economy could shift to a sustainable growth path with price stability.  Indeed, Mr. Mieno was the first governor of a central bank among advanced countries to face the challenge of simultaneously achieving the two missions -- price stability and financial system stability -- that other advanced countries subsequently confronted.  He tackled this challenge earnestly, and on many difficult occasions urged on the Bank's executives and staff the importance of firm and consistent performance of the Bank's overall mission by holding, and then continuing to improve, the "central bank's yardstick."

Mr. Mieno was a man of both courage and thoughtfulness as well as humanity and intelligence.  I remember him as a figure who attracted numerous admirers from all over the world, which of course included myself.  His uncompromising attitude toward work was based on his belief that one should never back away from difficulties.

As we chart our path through the highly uncertain economic environment both at home and abroad, I find it very unfortunate that we have lost one of the most experienced captains, and one of the most admired central bankers, of our time.  He will be missed by all.  Again, I would like to convey my deepest condolences on his loss.  May he rest in peace.