Japan finmin Nakagawa says his future up to PM

TOKYO Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:24pm EST

TOKYO Feb 16 (Reuters) - Japanese Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said on Monday his future was up to the prime minister and that his performance at a news conference in Rome may have been affected by medicine he was taking.

He said he drank alcohol and also took medicine on his flight to Rome for a meeting of Group of Seven finance leaders held on Friday and Saturday, and the combination may have had a bad effect.

"I drank wine at a party on the previous day but I didn't drink before the news conference," Nakagawa told reporters when asked about the Saturday news conference.

He said he may have taken too much medicine, including cold medicine: "That is the fact, and I am sorry about it."

Asked if he intended to resign, he said it was up to the prime minister, Taro Aso, to decide.

He insisted that his performance at the G7 meeting did not harm Japan's standing or its relations with other G7 members. Nakagawa slurred his speech and yawned during the news conference, leading Japanese media to question his competence. [ID:nT229091] (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Rodney Joyce)

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