Nishimura, who is also tasked with promoting social security reform, ran in the Liberal Democratic Party’s president race in 2009, when the party was not in power. But he was defeated by former party leader Sadakazu Tanigaki.
The six-term House of Representatives member from Hyogo Prefecture came under fire for posting photos on his Twitter account of a drinking party attended by Abe and other LDP members in July last year, when deadly torrential rain hit western Japan.
A graduate of the University of Tokyo, the 56-year-old worked as a bureaucrat at the now-defunct Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He belonged to the boxing club during his university days.