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Cultural Affairs Agency chief Hayao Kawai suffered a stroke Thursday and remains unconscious and in serious condition in a Nara hospital, the agency said.

The noted 78-year-old Jungian psychoanalyst was hospitalized for the cerebral infarction and pneumonia after being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Tenri, Nara Prefecture, it said.

His family had called the ambulance, saying Kawai was suffering a fever, local firefighters said earlier.

Kawai has headed the agency since 2002, when he was handpicked by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

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