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Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

Gruff maybe, but Nakagawa recalled as hard worker

Staff writer

Although he appeared unfriendly to some, he was in fact a serious, responsible man with delicate sensibilities who studied policies day and night. That is the picture emerging of the late former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa from interviews with relatives and officials.

News photo
Solemn occasion: A photograph of former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa, who died Sunday at age 54 from yet-unknown reasons, is displayed at a wake held Thursday in Minato Ward, Tokyo. KYODO PHOTO

"He was considerably serious, studying extremely hard," his uncle, Upper House lawmaker Yoshio Nakagawa, told The Japan Times on Thursday.

Yoshio Nakagawa said the late minister often took note of the things he heard from people he met, examined the information, neatly classified it and filed it away for reference.

"He was the type of the man who studied things himself, confirmed the facts well and then took action," he said. "That is why I think he was taking action with considerable confidence and the conviction of his own notions."

A bureaucrat who knew Nakagawa while he was finance and financial services minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Taro Aso agrees.

"He was an extremely serious and very responsible person," said the official, who said he would not give his name because he was not authorized to speak with the press about the issue.

He said that Nakagawa was always alert to the condition of the markets during the global financial crisis and that once he made a decision, he was strong in pushing things forward.

Nakagawa was a reliable minister in the eyes of his staff but might not have gotten much time to relax because he had to oversee the financial crisis.

Yoshio Nakagawa said the conservative minister, who resigned his posts in February, held the belief that the Japanese people should be proud of themselves because their history and traditions made them excellent.

"After becoming a politician, he started studying further with a sense of duty," he said.

Nakagawa, whose political fortunes declined after he appeared to be drunk at a G7 news conference in Rome in February, died Sunday at the age of 56.

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The Japan Times

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