Raw Japan

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Fun and games keeping a finance minister awake

February 25, 2009

Do you play games on your mobile phone, as millions of Japanese do? Here’s one for you.

A software company has launched a mobile phone game that pokes fun at former Japanese finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who resigned earlier this month after nearly dozing off at a news conference in Rome.240ss00

He denied he was drunk, saying he was on cold medicine, but was forced to quit when videotape of his performance at a news conference after the Group of Seven finance ministers meeting triggered an uproar in Japan.

The game, created by Liveware Inc and called “Exhausted Minister Dozing at a News Conference”, challenges the player to keep the minister awake when a reporter asks a question during a spoof press conference.

Players push number 5 to wake the minister up or to put him to sleep so he can rest. The game is over if the minister is sleeping when a reporter asks a question or he runs out of energy.

G7/When that happens, the minister reaches for a glass of red wine.

If the minister stays awake for questions, his support rate rises and the time between the questions grows shorter, increasing the game’s difficulty.

The game, described in an article by The Japan Times,  was launched days after Nakagawa stepped down, adding to Prime Minister Taro Aso’s woes as he struggles to survive politically as his popularity plunges.

 Photo credit: REUTERS/Chris Helgren

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