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Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, a familiar figure on nightly news programs worldwide, is now appearing in Japanese television advertisements.

"We thought Gorbachev was the best person for impact for our company image, in terms of his fame, nice looks and the fact that he got the Nobel Peace Prize," a spokesman for Japanese broadcast equipment maker Ikegami Tsushinki Co. Ltd. said.

The 30-second advertisement features videotaped excerpts from a Gorbachev speech and then cuts to an Ikegami television camera. "When you look at President Gorbachev, he looks at Ikegami," says the voice-over.

Gorbachev doesn't receive a fee, but Ikegami is paying an unspecified amount to the Soviet broadcasting company that taped his speech.

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