(Mainichi: January 29, 2016 – p. 5)
Although Ishihara ran against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the election for the LDP presidency in 2012, they share a good understanding. Years ago they set up the NAIS policy group together [with others]. Ishihara was appointed Minister of the Environment at the launch of the second Abe Cabinet. He also was Minister in charge of Administrative Reform in the Koizumi Cabinet. He was LDP Secretary-General under then LDP president Sadakazu Tanigaki when the LDP was an opposition party.
It is not unusual, however, for Ishihara to be described as “careless with his speech and actions.” As Environment Minister, he was criticized for saying, “In the end, it will come down to money,” regarding the construction of interim storage facilities in relation to the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Since the 2012 Lower House elections he has taken over the Yamasaki faction. Ishihara is from Kanagawa Prefecture.