A Green Tokyo Politician Reminiscent of the Governator

Tokyo’s 75-year-old, three-term governor — best known as a right-wing nationalist who has made disparaging remarks about foreigners and women — has a soft side, and it is green. Indeed, the Financial Times reports that Gov. Shintaro Ishihara — former head of the national environmental agency — has been a leader in combating climate change and pursuing energy-saving policies, often in conflict with his own conservative political party. The governor has imposed a carbon cap-and-trade scheme in Tokyo in 2010, subsidized small businesses for complying with tougher environmental standards, and launched a campaign to significantly improve energy efficiency in Tokyo homes and offices. Ishihara’s situation is similar to that of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been leading the nation in climate change initiatives, often placing him in conflict with the Bush administration.