Taro Aso, Japan’s deputy prime minister, has a solution to his country’s massive social security obligations: Seniors should simply “hurry up and die.”
Aso himself is 72 and claims his own will prohibits any extraordinary care or treatment paid for by the government.
ABC News reported on the top government official’s “hurry up and die” gaffe:
“At a government panel to discuss social security reforms, the former prime minister called the elderly who are unable to feed themselves ‘tube people,’ then proceeded to say the elderly should be allowed to ‘hurry up and die’ to reduce the burden on a country tasked to pay for their medical expenses.”
Aso, who served as prime minister for one year in 2009/2009, subsequently apologized and said that his comments were misinterpreted, according to the Wall Street Journal:
“I wasn’t commenting on how terminal medical care should be … I expressed my personal views, and it was clear that it wasn’t a general statement.”
Japan has a huge demographic challenge in terms of its aging population, Time reports, in that about 25 percent of its citizens are over 60:
“Japan’s aging population does cost the country’s strained social services, and the number of elderly people is only expected to increase. In just 20 years, projections suggest that seniors will outnumber children 15 and younger by nearly 4 to 1. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japan’s at-birth life expectancy is 83, one of the highest in the world. That imbalance means the ever-shrinking segment of people of working age will be burdened with the cost of paying to take care of their grandparents and great-grandparents.”
Do you think Deputy Prime Minister Aso, who also serves as finance minister, was expressing his actual views on social security entitlement reform when he said that old people should hurry up and die?