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Japanese Foreign Minister resigns after purportedly appearing drunk at briefing with reporters.

By Faiz Shakir on February 17, 2009 at 10:40 am

"Japanese Foreign Minister resigns after purportedly appearing drunk at briefing with reporters."

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During a G-7 meeting in Rome this weekend, Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa — the man in charge of the world’s 2nd largest economy — attended a press conference in what appeared to be a drunken state. During the event, “Mr Nakagawa slurred, yawned, lost his train of thought and appeared to nod off during a reporter’s question. At one point, he called the G7 ‘the G20’ and could not recall Japan’s present rate of interest.” Nakgawa blamed a head cold: “I took a larger-than-usual portion of cold medicine,” he said. Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said she wasn’t buying it. “I don’t speak Japanese, but I do speak hammered,” she said. “And that dude was hammered.” Watch it:

Today, Nakagawa resigned his position. “I decided it would be better for the country if I quit,” he said. “I apologize for causing a commotion through not taking enough care of my health.” Japan is currently undergoing its worst economic crisis since World War II.

Update

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will be the first foreign leader to visit President Obama at the White House. He will arrive next week.

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