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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 February 18 - 24  > Finance Minister Nakagawa forced to resign over behavior at news conference after G7 meeting
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2009 February 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

Finance Minister Nakagawa forced to resign over behavior at news conference after G7 meeting

February 18, 2009
Nakagawa Shoichi on February 17 tendered his resignation as Finance Minister over apparently drunken behavior at a news conference after G7 meeting in Rome.

In the Aso Taro cabinet, Nakagawa is the second minister to resign after Nakayama Nariaki who resigned as Minister of Land.

He will be replaced by Yosano Kaoru, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister.

It is unusual for a Cabinet member in charge of finance to step down before the next fiscal year budget is finalized. This will inevitably deal a heavy blow to the Aso Cabinet, particularly at a time when its approval ratings are below 20 percent.

On February 14, during a news conference after the G7 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in Rome, Nakagawa was slurring his words as if he was drunk.

The Japanese Communist Party and other opposition parties introduced in the House of Councilors a motion of censure against Nakagawa, demanding his immediate resignation. Later, Nakagawa submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Aso.

At a news conference on the same day, JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi said, “He deserves the forced resignation.”

“He was tasked to deal with what the government characterizes as the worst economic crisis since WWII as a key cabinet member responsible for people’s livelihoods and the country’s economy. He slurred his words, apparently becoming unaware of what he was talking about at the important international meeting. This shows how irresponsible the government is about people’s lives.”

Ichida said that the JCP will continue to question Prime Minister Aso’s responsibility for appointing Nakagawa as the finance minister. “The Aso Cabinet is totally incapable of running the country,” he added.
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