Senior Citizens Must 'Hurry Up and Die' - Japanese Official

Known for his sharp tounge, Japanese finance minister Taro Aso said elderly people dependent to government for support on medical expenses should be allowed to 'hurry up and die'.

taro aso

Aso’s latest gaffe is reminiscent of his statement four years ago. In 2008, the former prime minister said “Why should I have to pay taxes for people who just sit around and do nothing but eat and drink?”

The 72 year-old official later apologized for his comment which, he argued, was a personal wish. Aso said by the time he retires and gets ill, he would refuse medical care so as not to feel guilt knowing that government shoulders the expenses.

Figures released in early January show that Japan’s birthrate continues to drop and its population is now aging faster. More than 20 percent of its 128 million population is 65 and older. That number is expected to double within the next 50 years.

The issue is a major challenge for Japan, but should the government just shun the nation’s culture of respecting and caring for elders?