New economy and fiscal policy minister Nobuteru Ishihara vowed Friday to pour his utmost efforts into Abenomics and ease public anxiety over the economy after Akira Amari’s sudden resignation.
“I will work hard to accomplish Abenomics so that more people can actually feel the benefits of a positive growth cycle,” Ishihara said at his first news conference a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed him to replace the scandal-sunk Amari.
“I will put my heart and soul into on it,” he said.
Admitting the public is anxious about the future of the economy after Amari, one of the architects of Abe’s unorthodox deflation-busting strategy, based on the Bank of Japan’s unprecedented and aggressive quantitative monetary easing, Ishihara pledged to brush off such concerns.
Ishihara, a longtime associate of Abe and the eldest son of outspoken former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, is known as a policy-oriented politician but his experience on economic and trade matters is limited.
Concern also remains over whether Ishihara can hit the ground running on the transformative Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation free trade agreement hammered out last year. Amari was the only Cabinet member privy to the closed-door negotiations.
Ishihara, 58, was formerly a TV reporter. He has held various posts in the Cabinet, including land and infrastructure minister and minister for administrative reform. He also unsuccessfully ran for the Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential races in 2008 and 2012.
Like his nationalist father, former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, he has come under fire a few times for making controversial remarks.
In 2014, when he was environment chief, he told reporters money would eventually convince residents near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to host storage sites for radiation-tainted waste.