Ministers pool to buy Japanese Nobel laureate a washing machine
Japanese ministers are pooling together money to help purchase a washing machine for Shinya Yamanaka, who was recently awarded the $1.2 million Nobel prize along with a British researcher.
Yamanaka joked that he was fixing a rumbling washing machine when he received a call from Oslo saying that he and Britain's John Gurdon were jointly honoured with the prize for their discovery in stem cell research.
On Friday, 16 ministers from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's cabinet promised to chip in 10 000 yen ($126) each to help the 50-year-old physician buy a new washing machine, reports said.
The move is being seen by some media as a publicity stunt to impress voters as unpopular Noda is seen likely to call a snap general election in the coming months in response to growing demands from opposition parties.