Relief in Japan as Gaffes Weaken Yen
After an acutely embarrassing performance at the G-7 meeting in Rome on Feb. 14, Japan's Finance Minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, quickly became something of a global star. YouTube video clips of him, seemingly drunk at a press conference, were an instant Internet hit. As global news channels, looking for some light relief from the credit crunch, also broadcast the slurring Nakagawa, his fame spread further. In Japan, though, the abject performance, which Nakagawa blamed on strong cold medicine, came in for intense criticism and the 55-year-old resigned on Feb. 17.
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