Arama They Didn't

12:01 am - 01/22/2013

Japanese Finance Minister: Government Should Let Old People 'Hurry Up And Die'


Japan's finance minister Taro Aso said Monday the elderly should be allowed to "hurry up and die" instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.

Aso, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, reportedly said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms: "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government.

"This won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die," he said.

"I don't need that kind of care. I will die quickly," he said adding he had left written instructions that his life is not artificially prolonged.

During the meeting, he reportedly referred to "tube people" when talking of patients who cannot feed themselves.

The 72-year-old Aso, a former prime minister, has been in his current job less than a month, but has a long history of planting his foot firmly in his mouth.

In 2001 he triggered a furore by saying a successful country was one where "rich Jews" wanted to live.

After Monday's mis-step, he tried to backtrack, insisting he had only been talking about his personal wishes when he said the elderly should shuffle off quickly.

"I said what I personally believe, not what the end-of-life medical care system should be," he told reporters.

"It is important that you can spend the final days of your life peacefully."

Aso was born into a blue-blooded industrialist family but his often crude verbal slip-ups stand in marked contrast to his heritage.

He is the grandson of Shigeru Yoshida, one of Japan's most influential prime ministers who helped rebuild the country from the ashes of World War II, and he is married to the daughter of another former premier.

Ageing is a sensitive issue in Japan, one of the world's oldest countries, with almost a quarter of its 128 million people over 60. That figure is expected to rise to 40 percent within the next half-century.

At the same time a shrinking number of workers is placing further strain on an already groaning social security system, with not enough money going into the pot to support those who depend on it.


nice_vibe 21st-Jan-2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
What a shithead
eevaleena 21st-Jan-2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
What in the name of hell?
rainbow_yarn 22nd-Jan-2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
also: excellent choice of pic, OP

came in to say this; that's a trololol picture if e'er I saw one
inachan89 21st-Jan-2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
The hell??
citrine047 21st-Jan-2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
it'd be funny if he ends up living until the age of 90 or so and end up being a tube person himself
dramajewels 21st-Jan-2013 07:16 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's likely he'll end up a tube person since he has made his wishes clear and written them down. He could however end up living a very long life without the need of artificial life prolonging care. Lets hope everyone is so lucky.
ebenista 21st-Jan-2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
well you go first!
royu_kiyo 21st-Jan-2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
Way to piss off a quarter of the nation.
burger 21st-Jan-2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
That picture juxtaposed with this article is hilarious. What a moron though.
wapiko 21st-Jan-2013 07:41 pm (UTC)
bear100 21st-Jan-2013 10:15 pm (UTC)
you tell em , whoopie
j_o_n_n_o 21st-Jan-2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
they should start with johnny kitagawa tbh
tomoeicemaiden 21st-Jan-2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
wheresthepaper 22nd-Jan-2013 12:50 am (UTC)
Gold star!
shynanigans 21st-Jan-2013 09:13 pm (UTC)
"Douchebag" is the most appropriate tag I've seen for any post in a while.
keiko_artemis 22nd-Jan-2013 05:20 am (UTC)
xanithofdragons 21st-Jan-2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
In context, it sounds more like he was advocating for personal choice in end of life care rather than letting all the decisions be left to doctors or whoever.

This is mostly just something poorly phrased and out of context...
mjlights 21st-Jan-2013 11:01 pm (UTC)
I feel the same. But of course the media would sensationalize it.
luna_rainbow 22nd-Jan-2013 07:32 am (UTC)
I can't speak for the situation in Japan but where I am (Australia), it is extremely rare that the patient's life is prolonged solely on the doctor's decision. Quite frequently (and unfortunately) the patient bravely accepts a bad diagnosis but it is the family that demands aggressive intervention even if benefit is very low. It would be unusual for doctors to push on with treatment against the expressed wishes of a patient who can make competent decisions, and in most countries it would probably constitute assault and/or battery. Possibly even false imprisonment.
zolalupin 22nd-Jan-2013 05:30 pm (UTC)
botanbutton 28th-Jan-2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
I agree very much.
k0dama 21st-Jan-2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
Aso still being an asshole huh
vanlindda90 22nd-Jan-2013 08:54 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that. I wish I had a similar mindset as you when my mom was deciding on whether to go through surgery. She eventually died as the surgery made it worst for her.

I don't think it's wrong of what he said but it can be taken the wrong way. He could've phrased it a little better rather than trying to make it seem like he wants to get rid of them. I don't know if his words were taken out of context but I think this is one of those things that maybe he shouldn't have gone public.
eishastan 21st-Jan-2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
I know politicians around the world are a bunch of assholes but it seems like Japanese ones are never afraid to voice their stupidity.
neurotic_rat 22nd-Jan-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Right, and us American's get a pass for voicing our stupidity how? :/

Edited at 2013-01-22 04:02 pm (UTC)
vicinity_love 22nd-Jan-2013 12:14 am (UTC)
wow, douchebag isn't a harsh enough word to be honest.
wheresthepaper 22nd-Jan-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
I have to say that I agree with this. My jaw dropped as I was reading, though I shouldn't be that surprised anymore. He's Aso being Aso.

While on one hand I can, and do, understand where he is coming from, (my great grandmother is 104 and has literally said that she wishes that God would just take her already), and I also have instructions that I wouldn't want to live on machines, the way he said it basically poured salt in the wounds of a lot of people. Death is something that is a touchy subject for many people, for many, many reasons. He could have been a lot more respectful, and gentle in his word choices.

Aso seems to have been born without the "Tact" gene, and instead got the: "Hi, I'm an absolute raging douchemonkey" gene, instead. Way to show your ass, sir. Fabulous job. Really.
johnnypenn 22nd-Jan-2013 04:39 am (UTC)
To quote Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge - "and decrease the surplus population".

Don't tell me that wasn't the first thing someone else thought? please?
arashichoco 22nd-Jan-2013 09:51 am (UTC)
where is Kurosagi now ? ><"
terrorpinguchib 22nd-Jan-2013 06:02 pm (UTC)
only someone who isn't related to 'tube people' can say something like this.
stole_away 23rd-Jan-2013 07:52 am (UTC)
so dumb ugh
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