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Yen down, stocks up on reports Kuroda to head BOJ

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's currency weakened and shares climbed as local media reported that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to nominate Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda to head the central bank.

Abe was expected to announce the plan later Monday.

Kuroda is an Oxford-educated former vice minister of finance who is thought to back Abe's strategies for seeking to revive Japan's economy by fighting deflation through monetary easing and hefty government spending.

Those expectations have lifted share prices and spurred a further decline in the value of the yen, which has weakened by about 20 percent against the U.S. dollar since last fall.

Current Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa, has chafed at Abe's pressure on the central bank. He will step down on March 19, three weeks before his term ends.