New game pokes fun at Nakagawa

by Minoru Matsutani

A game developer is cashing in on former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who resigned following an allegedly drunken appearance at a news conference at the end of the Group of Seven meeting in Rome earlier this month.

Played on a cell phone, the object of “Exhausted Minister Dozing at a News Conference” is to raise Nakagawa’s support rate by keeping him awake when a reporter asks him a question during a news conference, LiveWare Inc. spokesman Yohei Shinra said Monday.

Players push the number 5 key to wake him up, and put him to sleep so he can build up energy. The game ends if he is asleep when a reporter asks a question or his energy flags.

The higher his support rate, the shorter the intervals between questions, raising the game’s difficulty.

The game is downloadable for ¥52 at LiveWare’s Web site, which can be accessed via all the three major carriers — NTT DoCoMo Inc., KDDI Corp. and Softbank Mobile Corp.

At the Rome G7 news conference on Feb. 14, Nakagawa slurred his speech, at times appeared half asleep and had trouble answering questions from reporters. His behavior sparked speculation that he may have been drunk, as there has long been speculation that he is a heavy drinker.

Nakagawa, who stepped down Feb. 17, denied the allegations, claiming his strange behavior was due to having taken too much cold medicine.