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