Japan's Ishihara says PM Abe asked him to be econmin

Japan's newly appointed Economics Minister Nobuteru Ishihara walks into Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan, January 28, 2016. . REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese lawmaker Nobuteru Ishihara said on Thursday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had asked him to be Economy Minister, replacing Akira Amari, who resigned due to a funding scandal.

Ishihara told reporters he wanted to guide economic policy to spread the benefits of Abenomics through the Japanese economy and to small firms.

Ishihara, 58, has served in several previous cabinet positions, including the environment portfolio, and has also been secretary-general of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez