“Nicoichiru with Taro Kono.”
Recently, there is a person who has become a topic of conversation in Nagata-cho. Digital Minister Taro Kono, 60, is well-known among journalists for his difficult personality, but he has an unshakable trust in Shin Ito, 45, who serves as a counselor to the Digital Agency.
He has no doubt that he trusts Ito, 45, who is a counselor at the Digital Agency. I don’t know if it is because he doesn’t trust them or because he wants to run things himself, but there is no doubt that he is a rather difficult person to get to know as a politician. Minister Kono, however, has complete trust in his advisor, Mr. Ito, and consults with him about policy and internal party politics. Reporters have seen this situation, and recently, many reporters have been going to talk to Mr. Ito instead of Mr. Kono, who does not comment very often. Mr. Ito is easy to talk to and responds to questions properly, which is appreciated by the reporters.
What kind of background does Mr. Ito have that has earned him such trust from Minister Kono, who is known for his eccentricities? An official of the private policy think tank “General Incorporated Association “Kosaku Nihon” reveals, “Mr. Ito is the director of this organization. Mr. Ito is the general director of this organization.
Born in Hokkaido in 1978, Mr. Ito graduated from Doshisha University and worked as a secretary for Kazunori Yamai, a member of the House of Representatives, and Koji Matsui, a former member of the House of Councillors, before joining the policy staff of “Conceptual Japan” in his 20s. Thereafter, he served as Deputy Counselor to the Cabinet Office and Policy Counselor to the Cabinet Office. He is currently a counselor at the Digital Agency, and is mainly knowledgeable about local administration and other policies. He is a skilled talker, and my frank impression is that he is good at getting into the pocket of his opponents. Mr. Hideki Kato, the founder of “Concept Japan,” took a liking to Mr. Kono, and it was through him that I was introduced to Mr. Taro Kono and fell in love with him. Not only Mr. Kono, but he is also invited to LDP study groups and has a wide range of contacts within the LDP. He has a stance of not making waves as much as possible, which is rare in Nagata-cho, and he makes his presence known not only by his ability to propose policies, but also by his human power.”
Minister Kono is said to be indifferent to internal party appointments and factional disputes, and therefore does not have many allies within the party. It is said that Mr. Ito has even drawn up a roadmap for his bid to replace Minister Kono as president of the party. A source close to the “Conceptual Japan” magazine continues, “Mr. Ito is a professional in his field.
Mr. Ito is a professional in his field. Mr. Ito has set up opportunities for Mr. Kono to network with people in the public and private sectors in order to move up the ladder, and he has even been present at dinners with Mr. Kono. It seems that Mr. Kono is intent on becoming prime minister again, and in anticipation of this, Mr. Ito takes Mr. Kono, who does not often show his face at dinners, along with him. In other words, Mr. Ito has that many personal connections. It is also said that Mr. Kono heeded Mr. Ito’s advice regarding vaccinations. There is no doubt that Mr. Ito is the most important key person and the brain behind the Kono campaign.
The Digital Agency is said to have a large number of private-sector appointees to begin with. Against this backdrop, there are those who are cold toward Mr. Ito’s “special treatment.
There is a desk dedicated to Mr. Ito in the Digital Minister’s Office. There is no problem with the system, but there are whispers among the government officials that it is not right to treat a private person so well as to give him a desk in the minister’s office. Mr. Kono is a devil’s gate for officials, and it is hard for them to get in. ……” (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications official)
A source from the Aso faction of the LDP said, “Mr. Kono seems to be particularly energetic these days, including with regard to the my number card and the supplementary election for the Chiba 5th Constituency. Mr. Ito’s influence may be a major factor behind this,” he said.
Now that Minister Kono has the brains, will he be able to make a successful bid for the presidency?
Photo： Takeshi Kinugawa