Japan Official: Sick Old Folks Should 'Hurry Up and Die'

It would save the government a lot of money, says finance minister

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 11:50 AM CST | Updated Jan 26, 2013 1:08 PM CST

(Newser) – And the award for compassion showed by a politician when talking about a touchy issue goes to Japan finance minister Taro Aso. While addressing the heavy state costs of medical care for the elderly, he said:

  • "I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government. The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."
  • He also referred to elderly people who can't feed themselves as "tube people."
The 72-year-old later tried to clarify that he was talking about his own personal preferences on end-of-life care, reports the Guardian. "It is important that you be able spend the final days of your life peacefully."

Taro Aso, finance minister of Japan.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
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