TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan's government has sounded out Bank of Japan (BOJ) Deputy Governor Masayoshi Amamiya to succeed incumbent Haruhiko Kuroda as central bank governor, the Nikkei newspaper reported early on Monday, citing anonymous government and ruling party sources.
The next BOJ chief will be tasked with putting the central bank on a path of normalising monetary policy aimed at achieving stable economic growth, Nikkei added.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's choice of a successor to Kuroda, whose five-year term ends on April 8, will likely affect how soon the central bank could phase out its massive stimulus as inflation hit 4% in December, double its 2% target.
Amamiya, who has spent most of his career at the central bank drafting monetary policy ideas, is seen by markets as a top contender to take over as next governor.
He played a key role in drafting Kuroda's huge asset-buying programme in 2013 and consistently called for keeping ultra-low interest rates. But he also said in July the BOJ must "always" think about the means of exiting ultra-loose monetary policy.
The government has stepped up coordination with Japan's ruling parties before finalising a proposal to present the nominees for the central bank's next governor and its two deputy governors, Nikkei said.
Amamiya and Masazumi Wakatabe are currently serving as deputy governors, but their five-year terms end on March 19.
The nominations require approval from both chambers of parliament to take effect, which is essentially a done deal due to the ruling coalition's solid majority in the Diet.
(Reporting by Daniel LeussinkEditing by Jason Neely and Frances Kerry)