Japan's central bank governor to resign early

Japan's central bank governor says he is resigning three weeks before his five-year term expires on April 8 so his departure will coincide with those of his top deputies.

Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters he offered to resign as of Mar. 19 at an economic policy meeting on Tuesday.

Shirakawa and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have appeared at odds over Abe's insistence that the central bank more aggressively ease monetary policy to help spur economic growth. His early resignation is unusual. However, Shirakawa said his move was motivated by logistical, rather than political reasons. His top deputies' terms expire in Mar. 19.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that Abe intends to replace Shirakawa with an expert whose views are more closely aligned with his own.

In this Jan. 22, 2013 photo, Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa speaks to the reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. Japanís central bank governor says he is resigning three weeks before his five-year term expires on April 8 so his departure will coincide with those of his top deputies. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) Enlargephoto

In this Jan. 22, 2013 photo, Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa speaks to the reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. Japanís central bank governor says he is resigning three weeks before his five-year term expires on April 8 so his departure will coincide with those of his top deputies. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)