Here’s The Economist:
Mr Shirakawa’s decision [to resign], which caught even his BoJ colleagues by surprise, enables Mr Abe to appoint a new governor on the same day as two deputy governors. BoJ-watchers say there are three names prominently in the frame to replace him, all of whom share Mr Abe’s belief in bold monetary easing. They are Toshiro Mutoh and Kazumasa Iwata, both BoJ deputy governors from 2003 to 2008; and Haruhiko Kuroda, who currently heads the Asian Development Bank and, like Mr Mutoh, is a finance-ministry veteran.
Mr Iwata, 66, is widely considered the most dovish of the three. The head of the Japan Centre for Economic Research (which eschews interviews with journalists unaffiliated to the Nikkei, Japan’s main business paper), he supports big purchases of Japanese and foreign bonds to cheapen the yen and bolster the economy. Such ideas have been floated by Mr Abe.
Mr Kuroda, 68, fulfils different criteria set by the Abe administration: he is experienced at running an international financial institution, speaks good English and is used to globe-trotting. Masaaki Kanno of J.P. Morgan says he sits between Mr Iwata and Mr Mutoh in terms of dovishness.
According to a recent poll in the Nikkei, Mr Mutoh, 69, is the favourite among Japanese market participants (though an earlier nomination was blocked by a hostile upper house of parliament in 2008, when Mr Shirakawa got the job). In an interview with The Economist on February 5th, he called for “out-of-the-box” thinking at the top of an institution that he considers too cautious. He mentioned targeting nominal GDP growth, as well as inflation, in order to minimise the risk of stagflation. But he was dismissive of suggestions that the BoJ directly underwrite government bonds, and was opposed to the buying of foreign bonds to cheapen the yen artificially.
Naturally I favor the least dovish of the three.