MATSUE, SHIMANE PREF. – Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara on Monday left a hospital one day after being rushed there following a public appearance, saying he just “got dehydrated.”
The 82-year-old retired politician, known for his staunchly right-wing stances, was taken by an ambulance to the hospital after feeling faint while giving a speech Sunday in Masuda, Shimane Prefecture.
“I think I spoke too fast during the lecture event and got dehydrated. I am sorry that I caused trouble,” the former Diet member told reporters.
When asked how he felt, the novelist-turned-politician smiled and said: “Not so fast. I’m alive.” He then flew from Masuda to Tokyo.
According to people at Sunday’s event, Ishihara started saying things like “Something is wrong” and “I suffered a stroke before” while touching the back of his head about 30 minutes into his talk, which started at about 3:30 p.m.
He also drank water frequently and his speech was slurred.
Shortly after 4 p.m., he stopped giving the speech and left the stage, saying he would “take a deep breath.”
A staff member then called an ambulance.
Ishihara, who served as Tokyo’s governor for about 13 years, announced his retirement from politics last year.