Aso says elderly should be allowed to 'hurry up and die'

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  • 30

    wackness

    Lead the way, spoiled rich kid.

  • -18

    Cortes Elijah

    I agree and disagree with his comments. As it is a bit insensitive about "hurry up and die" I do agree that if your really not doing anything to help the country anymore perhaps you should live off your own savings. Rather than continue to get money from the government....but that saying...I also think the government should get their pay checks cut by a lot. They cannot exactly point the finger at wasting government money.

  • 5

    Triumvere

    That would be the greatest picture of Mr. Aso ever.

  • 12

    Mirai Hayashi

    Well, this is the type of twisted politics Japan voted in....can't complain now

  • 37

    Mirai Hayashi

    and...ironically its the aging population that voted his party in

  • -2

    kimuzukashiiiii

    I absolutely LOVE Taro Aso. He is awesome, in his own offensive kind of way.

  • 13

    volland

    What is everybody complaining about?

    This is a democracy. You vote for a fascist, you get a fascist.

    I am sure, once they start a war against China, there will again be complains. Strange....

  • 26

    albaleo

    "if your really not doing anything to help the country anymore perhaps you should live off your own savings"

    Do those savings include the pension and health insurance contributions that people have made during their working lives and that they were led to believe would entitle them to benefits until they die?

  • 3

    tapi0ca

    i don't think i like this person (thing). i don't like that his mouth is smudged on the side of his face. i don't like what he says.

  • -2

    tmarie

    Crude but right. What kind if quality of life do these "tube" people have? Science has got it wrong when the body lives on and the mind doesn't. Daily suffering and pain for many of these folks. My grandmother in law doesn't know who she is, where she is... And the whole family is hoping shell kick the bucket soon because of time, resources and the fact that granny isn't enjoying life.

    How much money would this country save if they didn't keep these folks alive? It's something that dies need to be taken into account. People are taking far more money from the pot than they put in and for what? To lie in a bed and not have any quality of live. Sad and I find selfish of the families and doctors who demand they be kept alive.

    I've got a "do not resuscitate" request. I'd rather be dead than be a tube person.

  • 11

    concentratedsin

    my jaw sort of dropped reading his comment-- he's very insensitive.

  • 6

    southsakai

    Wow this was one of the most stupidest statements ever heard from a politician.

    “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.

    With the type of comments from this fool, hope he goes early in peace. People don't need this kind of loser to lead others.

  • 5

    hatsoff

    Aso: “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it’s all being paid for by the government.

    Such obvious false compassion, and screwing the elderly for all the collective guilt this odious man can wring out of them.

    Cortes Elijah:

    I do agree that if your really not doing anything to help the country anymore perhaps you should live off your own savings. Rather than continue to get money from the government

    With a stroke of your keypad you completely dismiss the contribution those people have made to their country/society ALL THEIR LIVES. What kind of society is it that basically says: Thanks for your help over the past 65 years. No then, what are you still hanging around for?

  • 8

    ChibaChick

    I think part of the problem (massive foot in mouth disease notwithstanding) is the definition of when its ok to pull the plug.

    We have a relative in a coma right now. She had a massive brain haemorrhage nearly a year ago and has been unconscious ever since. If she was taken off life support, she would die. If this was home, I suspect they would probably have agreed it was hopeless by now and ended things. The doctors here all agree she is never going to regain consciousness. But they cant pull the plug either, and I really cant understand why. Im sure there are many many others just like us.

    I think (hope!) it is these people Aso is referring to, and not your average elderly person still functioning and living independently.

  • -1

    ChibaChick

    Ah Yubaru, sorry. Just read your post after typing mine. Yes, everything you say is true.

  • -2

    papigiulio

    I dont like Aso, but i think Pamelot is right. Use this picture and headline and of course everybody gets his panties in a twist.

  • -1

    ChibaChick

    @Yubaru (again!)

    Interesting you say that Japans definition of death is when the heart stops beating. Because that original definition changed in the west from heart-death to brain-death in the late 60s with the advent of new resuscitative technology. Why am I not surprised it still persists here.

  • 5

    Philip Grow

    Why backtrack? I agree, why prolong their death? However, it should be at the consent of the person, not the family or govt. opinion.

  • 6

    herefornow

    After Monday’s misstep, he tried to backtrack, insisting he had only been talking about his personal wishes when he said the elderly should shuffle off quickly

    Doesn't matter. The fact that a moron like this is Finance Minister and Deputy PM is criminal. Speaks volumes about the kind of leaders Japan is producing. "Old" people are fine so long as their savings are in Japan Post so the government has a handy outlet for all its borrowing, but as soon as they need the help of society, they should just "hurry up and die". Right? Japan truly is third-world in so many ways.

  • 3

    Schopenhauer

    Important messages are missing in this English article. Aso also said that in some cases, the government has to pay more than 15 million yen per month for a patient while the person pays only less than one hundred thousand yen. Without cutting medical expenses for the aged, the country go broke. I agree.

  • 8

    JeffLee

    all being paid for by the government.

    Much of it is paid by health insurance and co payments, both of which come out of our own pockets, and some of it by the government. Clearly not "all."

    Not only is Aso offensive, but he's utterly ignorant as well. Oh well, a nation's people deserve the politicians they vote for.

  • 1

    waltery

    Yes I agree, and those poor people with no money for electricity gas housing getting food scraps are next in line.

  • 2

    sudhakb

    yeah i get his point. but instead of letting them die, govt would have to find some other ways to protect thier life in a peaceful way by making sure they get the medical care all they deserve. Im sure, the old people must have shed thier sweat during thier work days. and i heard, govt is looking to one of the reform ways on increasing the retirement age. in that way, govt will get some tax money for more time. i think the govt is continously failing to increase the awareness on sustaining the population. The frustration and extra spending on old people causes this kind of speech. But surely, they have to look at the root of the problem and not blaming the oldies. Mr Deputy, you are old too and adding more..so please do mind it.

  • 2

    HonestDictator

    So when Aso gets old and grey but wants to keep living until a natural death due to old age... euthanasia anyone? I'm all for the "do not resuscitate band" and for me if I'm brain dead, mortally wounded, or have a terminal disease I wouldn't want to stick around. But some people though need to be allowed to go the long and natural way.

    I mean why work the majority of your life being useful, then when you finally get to retire and RELAX from a life of hard work you should kick the bucket because someone else see's you as a burden? Look out grandma, I want your inheritance that you've worked all you life to leave for future generations in a bid to make our lives easier... you don't need to get to know your grandkids or watch them grow up into adults as the byproduct of your existence. Go on now, die in misery now.

  • 0

    slumdog

    Good to see that Aso is an adroit speaker as ever.

  • 0

    Pattie Inoue

    A dear friend just passed last week after 31 years in a coma. She fought a long battle and the family persevered because it was their choice to make and theirs alone!

  • 2

    FPSRussia

    Okay Aso, why don't you lead by example. I know your salary is ridiculous. Not everybody can be a pension refugee. If they need to stay here in Japan then they should.

    Even if you wish that and were fed with the elderly crossing the road ever so slowly, that's something you hold inside. I'd hate to imagine what he thinks about the young.

    That's alright though. We can see Aso's true colors.

  • -1

    Hide Suzuki

    @herefornow

    "Japan truly is third-world in so many ways."

    No need to put down the whole country just because of one idiot who has a tendency to make stupid comments. That makes you look very uneducated.

    Should I call your country America a "third world country" because people can buy automatic riles and kill people ? Also you guys are not in short supply of politicians who make stupid comments either.

  • 4

    ebisen

    He is right. Keeping someone forcefully alive, is a cruel and unusual punishment. There are probably tens of persons that wish nothing else but to be left to die due to a very long, untreatable and excruciatingly painful disease, right now, in Japan.

  • -2

    Zenpun

    He is not a God to tell somone who can live or die. Before his party was elected, he was very sweet to elderly for winning votes. Now he show his true color and ask them to die early. How cruel and ungrateful?

    As a 72 yrs old, he has to rush to die sooner than later. His is paid by Government money too.

  • 10

    papasmurfinjapan

    He is not a God to tell somone who can live or die.

    Neither are doctors, though they like to think they are.

    His comments may be insensitive, but he has a point. Just because we can artificially prolong a person's life, doesn't mean we should.

  • 4

    Aristoman

    Well what can I say... Dear Japan, you get what you voted for.

  • 4

    LiveInTokyo

    This man is an ignoramus and an absolute disgrace. We are paying for the insurance system, not the government, as it comes out of our taxes. And what a thing to say? As far as I'm concerned it really shows what he must think about the average man or woman in the street. "Oh, Johnny Tanaka you've served your purpose now. You can't work or pay tax, so we don't need you", is that what he is thinking?

    It's quite incredible that these politicians who make gaffes still hold their positions. Have these guys anything constructive or successful? I mean, other than get into parliament or hold their position. Can anyone show me something meaningful that this man has done? I don't think so, because I have never found it myself.

  • 0

    Elbuda Mexicano

    So just hurry up and die?? Wow! No there is a great idea but you know the Buddhist priest won't like that, too much ¥¥¥¥$$$$ to be made everytime gramps kicks the bucket!

  • -1

    semperfi

    Aso words do not surprise me - ----- most developed nations from practise medical euthanasia . . . . ................................In Japan the old Bushido code which embodies respect for the elderly has allowed for the practise of care until natural death.

  • -1

    Alphaape

    You cannot sleep well when you think it’s all being paid for by the government.

    Then they should change the laws to make people either want to volunteer to pay the SS tax or put the money by law into some type of 401K account. They can't say people will waste the money and not invest wisely, since the J-gov (as well as the US) has taken the money and blown it away, so what's the difference between an individual making a bad choice and the government?

  • 1

    Bopman

    This guy is about as subtle in his comments as a brick through a shop window!

    "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.

    I have no doubt that he'll be begging doctors to keep the life support system switched ON when his time comes...His kind always do!!!

  • 3

    Hiroicci

    The politicians aren't too far away from those who should hurry up. The LDP dons are quite old as well.

  • 1

    FightingViking

    "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.

    Let's hope it's sooner than later...

  • 0

    Aristoman

    :))) he made it even to Slovak news!!!! http://m.topky.sk/cl/11/1337893/Minister-financii-sokuje--Stari-sa-musia-poponahlat-a-zomriet-

  • 4

    cl400

    I don't mind that he is outspoken. Not enough Japanese people do speak their mind. He is not very diplomatic or sensitive about what he says, but at least he has the guts to speak up. I'm sure if he carefully re-worded half the crap that came out of his mouth people might agree with his comments more.

  • 2

    Kabukilover

    So what is next? Will the LDP government "help" old people to hurry up and die like the so-called "useless eaters" in Nazi Germany? Aso's remarks are not insensitive, they are terrifyingly totalitarian. Of course rich old people won't "hurry up and die." It will be the average elderly Japanese who will die of enforced neglect under the Abe-Aso government.

  • 6

    Yubaru

    Why backtrack? I agree, why prolong their death? However, it should be at the consent of the person, not the family or govt. opinion.

    THe overwhelming majority of the people that are on machines didnt have the foresight to put something into writing ahead of time. ANd even then the families can and often do over rule the individual.

    I have been through a couple of instances with this and my wife's parents. With her Mom we were fortunate to get the inkan onto the paper before invasive measures were necessary and she passed peacefully in her sleep.

    Her Dad was another story, and before we could get the necessary paperwork completed to prevent any invasive measures he had a seizure and the Doctors had no choice, even though we had discussed the issue and were telling them don't do anything, according to them we had time, they had to put him on a heart-lung machine and it was tramatic for many family members to see him in that state, her father himself didnt want it either, but things happen. (That's long, long, long story short....version)

    Anyway, while Aso's comments, in translation are poorly said, particularly from a person who is VICE-PM here, he has a point that Japan and the medical community need to look at seriously, and NOT from the financial point of view, but the moral and ethic responsibility of allowing people to die with dignity!

  • -3

    Hiroicci

    "I said what I personally believe."

    So every time he looks at sick old people, he feels this way, but he didn't have a chance to say this until yesterday, huh? As deputy prime minister, he feels that way but shuts up and deals with the ageing issue rather reluctantly???

    Aso san, you're a politician, and you should know there's an argument as to whether politicians have a private life or not. This is a REALLY poor excuse.

  • 3

    cracaphat

    At 72,he must be including himself as a candidate to hurry up,no?

  • 2

    The passage

    “I don’t need that kind of care. I will die quickly,” he said

    I suspect that there are quite a few people out there willing to help him!

  • 1

    Yubaru

    I suspect that there are quite a few people out there willing to help him!

    Actually I would say that if he keeps his feet in his mouth long enough he'll be committing political suicide which would be just as good.

  • 3

    zurcronium

    I can see Aso has been taking stupid lessons since he turned over the country to the DPJ three years ago.

    Why the Japanese voters want two loser like Abe and Aso running the country is just amazing.

    This is nothing, many are now predicting that Abenomics will lead to the economic collapse of Japan. We are looking at the return of Herbert Hoover in Japanese form. Get ready for a rough ride. The LDP is bent on destroying Japan.

  • 0

    Dennis Bauer

    I bet Aso's favorite movie is Logan's run ne.

  • 4

    BlackFlagCitizen

    I wish these useless incompetent Japanese politicians like Aso would hurry up and die so Japan can turn the page and move forward. It's cronies like these that have been keeping Japan from progressing over the years.

  • -1

    John S. Whitford

    Can anyone provide a link to this article in Japanese?

  • 3

    Zen student

    HonestDictator - exactly. I couldn't agree more with what you said. How can Mr. Aso-hooru say this to people who have worked hard ALL their lives looking forward to enjoying themselves a bit during their retirement or what Japanese often refer to as their 'second life'. Why did people vote these guys back in again? I mean, what were they THINKING? Someone needs to taser this guy quick.

  • 0

    michikokada

    Naaandeee?!

  • 0

    Goals0

  • 5

    Harry_Gatto

    Some of you, obviously younger, posters need to remember that those of us receiving our pensions are entitled to the money, we paid our contributions for 45 or more years and are now getting our money back!

  • 9

    papasmurfinjapan

    @John Here is one article on Yahoo news. http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130121-00000064-jij-pol

    The English translation here given here is inaccurate and probably deliberately mistranslated to stir debate. He originally said "さっさと死ねるようにしないと"..

    What he is really saying is "We have to fix the system to make it so that they can die quickly."

    Translating it as "let them hurry up and die" is just unprofessional tabloid journalism, or translator incompetence, or both.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    And you wonder why the suicide rate among the elderly is so high when you twits like this in power. He is stating that the elderly are a drain on the nation and wants to get rid of them. He is a crazed idiot! Yet, they have every man and his dog mandatorily paying 25-35% of their salaries into a pension fund that is a pittance return and is about to be cut by a further 10%, The Japanese economy needs to increase spending to get the money back into circulation, but these wankers are making keep their money under their pillows cos there is no future for this ageing society. They will force Japan into a depression. Japan is supposed to have the world's third largest economy. If these wankers keep going Japan will have an economy to match Spain.

  • 3

    rickyvee

    what aso says and what he means are often very different. in many ways, he makes a good point. not everyone wants to stay alive hooked up to a tube. some people would be better off in hospice care where they can end their life on their own terms. this is a discussion that should be thoughtfuly had between family members, not from some politician who makes a gaffe. but if he can start the ball rolling, then good on him.

  • 0

    WA4TKG

    Yes; and let's see what REALLY is the case, when something happens to him. Something tells me, he will NOT " Hurry up & DIE ".

  • 6

    Ayesha

    "We have to fix the system to make it so that they can die quickly."

    I would translate it as "...so that the possibility is created for them to be able die quickly."

    Not an unreasonable proposition, I think, which many elderly people would support.

  • 2

    ofel1003

    so insensitive!..please tell that phrase to your relative

  • 8

    papasmurfinjapan

    BTW, I think Yubaru is 100% correct. The problem with Aso's comments is not the badly translated "hurry up and die" part. It's the fact that he is suggesting that it's the government footing the bill that I find offensive.

    This should be an ethical debate, not a financial one. And besides, as others have pointed out - it's not the government's money. It's our money. Why else to we pay pensions, medical insurance and tax?

  • 0

    Alex Einz

    Full support, specially in Japan where none says what they actually mean. This guy speaks direct and to the fact. Insensitive and all that PC crap is one of the sources of constant haze in politics and other. Leaders should speak direct and to the point.

    I absolutely agree that there is no reason why your tax should pay to keep someone artificially alive until 120...

  • -3

    Alex Einz

    and yes elderly are a drain!

  • -3

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    What he says is unpopular, but true. Look at that bloat called social insurance. Look at the debt. Japan can't afford the elderly now. Sorry but that's the blunt truth.

  • 3

    humanrights

    Thats pure desperation to save money! Shameful. Souldnt he retire and leave his job for someone younger and with more sense? That would save money.

  • 4

    Christopher Blackwell

    I would imagine like most countries that the older people do most of the voting. So the can help get rid him as well.

  • 4

    Wicho

    haha I want to laugh in front of the faces of those who complain about elder people.. remember guys.. "As you seen them, you will be seen"...

  • 6

    slumdog

    Basically, he said that elderly that are dying and that want to die should be allowed to die as per their wishes without delaying the inevitable.

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130121-00000535-san-soci

  • 3

    shanabelle

    Aso certainly lacks beside manner (笑) but I agree that it is wrong to artificially sustain life when the patient themself would not want it that way.

  • 2

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    Assisted suicide for elderly and sick will soon be a reality. Anti aging is now the fastest growing industry in the world as baby boomers are not willing to go quietly into the night or walk out on the ice pack and let the polar bear eat them so as to not burden the family. Part of the Americanization of Japan is too much consumerism and a disposable mentality .. including disposing of elders who should be cherished for their knowledge and for their rights as ancestors to current generation. There is a problem with the birth rate.. because women do not want to have children until later so they can shop and take trips to Hawaii for months at a time.. and the cost of educating one child is frightening. Japanese culture and its people do not know how much the world needs you to be strong.. to be leaders in social structure, organic foods, caring for family and respecting the past with a vision for the future.

  • 8

    WilliB

    The article seems a bit misleading. The headling screams that he said the elderly should "hurry up and die", which sounds of course horribly cruel.

    But down in the article it turns out that what he actually said is "Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die", which is something I would 100% agree with. My worst nightmare would be having to live strapped into machines and kept alive against my will.

    I think the article writer could have reported this without trying to turn it into a polemic smear piece.

  • 6

    zichi

    Blue blooded Aso's mouth is like a black hole and we can't be sure what will come out of it.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    Ah, Aso... welcome back! I love the way he backtracks and says it is his personal wish, then says, "YOU should be able to die in peace", as in, his personal wish for the public. I'd like to see him scribble down all his wishes in his Hiragana-only style.

  • 2

    bokuwamo

    WilliB and other comments similar to it are on target, I think.

    My comment would just to repeat what others have, he might have not said all this in the best way, so what. He said people have a right to stop from being made to live beyond what they would like, tubes and machines keeping them alive and they don't want it.

    I personally do not want to keep living if I can not live on my own terms, health wise, financially all of it. Some people want to hold on no matter what, to their lives. The right to chose what you want to do with your life should be left to the person, living wills.

    I will take what he says a step further, if a person is being kept alive with machines and has no communication abilities with his care takers, the government is paying for it. Well, turn off the machine and let the person die in peace.

  • 1

    ratpack

    How on earth do people like this continually get voted in in this country?? What an insensitive moronic thing to say. But then again what else could you possibly expect from leaders of this country???

  • -3

    lachance

    In America, we discovered in the 1970's that we would have an inverted pyramid problem once the Baby Boom generation reached retirement age. Not long after this research was analyzed and synthesized, our medical science division in the NIH concocted/invented/discovered "Legionnaire's Disease," which we tested on older American veterans, hence its name, "Legionnaire's Disease."

    The Red Chinese have also expressed an interest in obtaining this solution to their demographic time bomb of a rapidly aging population, which we and they will explain as a new strain of the Asian flu. Just as we've been popularizing the bird flu epidemics in the last two decades, this is how we will explain the death of 9-12% of the American population, while China will deal with explaining nearly 20%.

    If Aso is interested in Japan's rejuvenation, have him contact the NIH.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Lets just hope he follows his own advice. However, why should he care? His family has been stuffing their koffer in public funds for nearly a century. This is the main problem with Japan. It is run by bureaucratic fools that were all born with a silver spoon in their mouths and never had to earn anything they have. Also, none of them have any formal education in political sciences. They have family money and status, which they feel gives them the right to run this country (into the ground). Yet, the sheep keep voting for them. I will never understand the psych of this country.

  • 0

    lachance

    Hey, satire.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    What an insensitive moronic thing to say

    On the contrary, the most insensitive thing to do is just ignore the problem and watch people suffer needlessly. We need someone outspoken like Aso to get the ball rolling. Some people are complaining, but I'm sure many more are silently hoping for change.

  • 2

    Himajin

    He actually said ’さっさと’ Oh my. How many other phrases could he have used?

  • 2

    Teerek

    The headline is misleading but going through the content of his assertion, I see it to be the PAINFUL TRUTH.

  • 0

    herefornow

    On the contrary, the most insensitive thing to do is just ignore the problem and watch people suffer needlessly. We need someone outspoken like Aso to get the ball rolling.

    Papa -- no, it is moronic. The people he is talking about are the very ones who's hard work and sacrifice helped Japan recover after the war and made Japan Inc. and the Japan Miracle happen -- which most of the posters here, including yourself, are still benefitting from. They are the ones who created what was the world's second largest economy until just a couple of years go. But, since the subsequent generations got complacent/lazy and managed to turn Japan into an inefficient, over-priced mess, you and Aso just want to pay them back by hoping they die quickly.

  • -1

    kcjapan

    "The overwhelming majority of the people that are on machines didn’t have the foresight to put something into writing ahead of time."

    Japan seems organized and a nation of planners. How is it that a national program of appropriate preparation hasn't been enacted? The idea that 'end of life' or 'in the case of incapacity' or 'brain death directives' aren't a codified planning step in national health design is very hard to understand.

    Compassion, Mr. Aso seems so sadly lacking, must play a role in our planning and actions when people are in misery or permanently incapacitated. A living ghost prays for release and who are we to forbid their passing?

    Additionally, Mr. Aso might expand his urging. Those whom have been counseled and find life is no longer of use should also be allowed the honor of a tranquil and assisted suicide. Who is anyone to prolong the suffering of another who has already determined that life has served its purpose and wish quite release from its bonds?

    Imagine the saving of this course of action Mr. Aso! What a joyful bottom line. The honor of the individual helping the Nation by gracefully accepting death and having the dignity to have that decision respected. We simply do not have the money to keep people alive who have made a decision that should be theirs alone to decide.

  • -5

    tmarie

    My grandmother in law never paid a penny into the pension. Her husband did but she didn't. Hubby has been dead for years. The certainly didn't pay anywhere near the amount they've both used over the years the medical expenses. I'm not saying old folks should be cut off but some of you are brig ridiculous if you think 85 year olds who've been in hospitals for years have paid anywhere near what they're taking out. Years of pension and health care are taking their toll.

    Regardless of the money, many if you are failing to address the quality of life these people are dealing with. You like bedsores, not knowing your name and in some cases not even being conscious is good? Add in the pain, the drugs and lying in soiled diapers. That isn't death with dignity at all. Do you want to sit in your ken filth and be fed by a drip your final years or months?! I certainly don't. I think this is abuse and it needs to stop - for the same of dignity, let alone the cost of it all.

  • -2

    GW

    While the topic of death with dignity, dieing on your own terms is important as usual this aso is as uncouth as usual, hey dimwit, we aint sittin sipping scotch at the Imperial hotel ya dolt!

  • 3

    slumdog

    He actually said ’さっさと’ Oh my. How many other phrases could he have used?

    While the word can mean 'hurry up and' it can also mean 'promptly', 'speedily' and 'quickly' to name a few. The latter meanings seem to match the content of the rest of what he said more than the former. Still, Aso has never been one to miss an opportunity to place his foot in his mouth.

  • -2

    GW

    That said, whoever above that defended J-politicians saying other countries have their own morons, well YES they do! BUT when one shoots their mouths off they usually end up resigning or being voted OUT, S A Y O NARA end of term.

    In Japan we have to witness their stupidity for years & years & see them come back to haunt the country a ministers & EVEN as PM!

  • -1

    slumdog

    Her husband did but she didn't.

    Then she is entitled to care under his pension. Period.

    Regardless of the money, many if you are failing to address the quality of life these people are dealing with.

    Which people are you talking about? Aso is talking about people who are dying. Are you?

    That isn't death with dignity at all.

    If they are not dying, you cannot expect the government to help them along toward death.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ Disillusioned

    Though I agree with your sentiment in principle, I disagree with your assertion that " none of them have any formal education in political sciences". Many of them do, the silver spoon brigade mostly going to Keio to study politics.

    A quick internet search will tell you Aso graduated from the Faculty of Politics and Economics at Gakushuin University. He has also studied at Stanford and LSE. Looking through his work history suggests he is well "qualified" to be Finance Minister. Qualifications and competence are separate matters though. Other interesting trivia is he is fluent in Portuguese (and English), a former Olympic athlete, and is Roman Catholic. Not your run of the mill Japanese politician, it seems.

    Was he born with a silver spoon? Yes, but the same goes for most of the world's political elite.

  • 4

    Yubaru

    I absolutely agree that there is no reason why your tax should pay to keep someone artificially alive until 120

    Ok then what age do you pull the plug? When do you play God and decide who lives and until what age?

    I do not disagree with the premise, however I disagree with setting an age limit. People have to take a look at the problem from a moral and ethical point of view, how long has the person been in a vegetative state? What has been done medically? What potential is there for recovery? There are a host of questions that need to be thoughtful considered along with cultural issues as well.

    Do we have a right to dictate how long a person lives, assisted or otherwise?

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    you and Aso just want to pay them back by hoping they die quickly

    No I don't, and neither does he. You are missing the entire point of the debate.

  • -1

    GW

    And finally Japan has already decided that old people are going to be treated like CRAP, its happening ALL around us, there are pitifully few old age homes etc & whats there is too expensive for most, so that leaves us all with:

    Dieing at our homes/aprtments ourselves trying to get jailed to keep a roof over our heads stuck in an awful hospital crammed in with others dieing etc etc

    The country has already DECIDED to treat elderly & the dieing like CRAP, its reality, to govt only regrets the few who end up on machines they cant quickly unplugg & rack up costs

  • 0

    Soseki

    Reminds me of the powerful Japanese film "The Ballad of Narayama" directed by Shohei Imamura. In a poor village all persons over the age of 70 are taken to the top of Narayama and left to die in order to lessen the financial burden on their families. I wonder if Aso has ever seen this film.

  • -5

    tmarie

    Slum, did you bother to read my post. Who on earth do you think I'm talking about? Help them along?! How about stop the meds and let them die in peace. They aren't science experiments and objects to be kept alive because the family says so.

    And "entitled" to a pension is a bone to pick. Entitlement issues aren't just for the young. If these folks have cash saved up that they plan on leaving family, why shouldn't take be used for their care if the family wants them to "live". More so for those who haven't paid a penny.

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die”

    When did he become the ultimate God? Is he setting the dieing age limit? He looks very mean on the photo.

  • 0

    blendover

    The solution to the aging problem is to make people more unhealthy. This is happening right now in all kinds of ways. Succeeding generations will die off faster than this one.

  • -7

    tmarie

    No, the solution is for the state and doctors to stop playing god. There is no reason for someone who is comatose to be kept on life support for years. There is no need for folks with zero hope of recovery to be pumped for of drugs and have them suffer with a horrific "quality" of life.

  • 5

    slumdog

    Slum, did you bother to read my post.

    Yes, and it was extremely unclear. Try writing clearly and you will be less misunderstood.

    And "entitled" to a pension is a bone to pick.

    No, it is not. She is entitled to it. I would assume she provided a home to come home to for her husband/family. Japanese society considers this worthy of receiving the husband's pension and I agree. Anyway, legally, she is entitled to it. Period.

    How about stop the meds and let them die in peace.

    If they are in their right mind, or if their families so decide and they are dying, this decision can and is made in Japan. It happens all the time. If they are not in their right mind and the families choose to keep them alive, there is nothing that can be done unless the patient has made it clear beforehand that they want to be taken off medicines, etc in the event that they are terminal.

    If these folks have cash saved up that they plan on leaving family, why shouldn't take be used for their care if the family wants them to "live".

    If they have a pension, they deserve to receive it. Period.

    More so for those who haven't paid a penny.

    Those who have not paid a penny or whose husbands have not paid a penny, receive nothing. If they or their husband did pay, they deserve to receive it. Period.

  • 5

    slumdog

    There is no reason for someone who is comatose to be kept on life support for years.

    There is if the family wants them to be. It is their decision. If you are saying you do not want the state or doctors to play God, why are you suggesting comatose patients should be taken off life support against the wishes of the family?

  • 3

    yj192

    omg some people here have no literacy. You guys probably just saw the headline and jumped to the conclusion that Taro Aso is a fool. FYI Japanese media love doing exactly what they did here, copy&pasting words out of the full context and making up a new one (in this case "hurry up and die") that would make a good headline.

    In this case Aso was asked for his own personal opinion and he said he would like to hurry up and die if he had to use government money to keep living (in a permanent vegetative state). This is actually a worthwhile discussion in the medical field, and by no means he simply said old people should hurry up and die..

    Please make an effort to look for the primary resource before commenting on public. thats just really irresponsible

  • -7

    John S. Whitford

    Thank you Goals0. apparently somebody slapped him straight and he asked to have his remarks removed from the minutes of the meeting. He's an arrogant child of privilege and he has done this same thing before. Mainichi & Yomiuri haven't reported this as far as I can discover. LDP must control the press like Faux News does in the USA.

    • Moderator

      Please note that mainstream media reported this story.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Many are not in their right mind. Have you ever seen someone do out of it in pain and clearly not enjoying life? It seems you haven't. Keeping these people alive because the family can't deal to say goodbye us nothing less than selfish and cruel.

    You an keep blathering about the "right" to a pension but your confusing health care and pension and are ignoring the bigger picture. These people are suffering. I'm not talking about spry, genki folks who are about and about. I'm talking about bedridden, drugged, comatose folks. How about you go to a local hospital for a day and see these folks. The. Ask yourself if that is how you want to spend your final time on earth. Nothing like sitting in soiled diapers being fed through a tube, right?!

    Slum, why does the government and doctors get to play god?! If the families want to continue the suffering, they can pay for it out of their pocket. There is no reason to keep granny hooked up to machines in a comatose state, is there?

  • 4

    slumdog

    Mainichi & Yomiuri haven't reported this as far as I can discover.

    Yes, they have.

    http://mainichi.jp/select/news/20130122k0000m010007000c.html

    http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/topics/news/20130121-OHT1T00100.htm

  • -4

    Alex Einz

    Exactly! And there is no reason why we would pay over 12000Y a month " for support of older generation" - it is an actual tax and is part of medical insurance.... Drives me mad... if you managed to get old and wasnt smart enough to make sure you have enough to last as much as you feel you need... why on earth would I need to pay for you? Any kind of financial support should be age limited I reckon....harsh , maybe but society today is a blob of old people relying on young people to work hard to support them, no wonder when they get old they feel like they havent lived enough...

  • 4

    slumdog

    Keeping these people alive because the family can't deal to say goodbye us nothing less than selfish and cruel.

    It is the law.

    You an keep blathering about the "right" to a pension

    I am just explaining the law to you as you seem to be unaware of it in favor of what you wish the law to be. That is hardly 'blathering'.

    Ask yourself if that is how you want to spend your final time on earth.

    The answer is to make your feeling known before you are in this situation so that your family may act on your wishes. Failing that, you cannot expect a doctor, hospital or government to take over the decision. You cannot.

    Slum, why does the government and doctors get to play god?!

    If you are suggesting the government and doctors get to overide the wishes of families and stop life support, you are the one suggesting the government and doctors should be allowed to play God, not me.

    If the families want to continue the suffering, they can pay for it out of their pocket.

    If the patient is entilted to healthcare/pension from the government, they should receive it.

    There is no reason to keep granny hooked up to machines in a comatose state, is there?

    If the family wants them kept alive, by law the government and doctors have no choice.

  • 4

    tkoind2

    Hey Aso, run down the curtain and join the choir invisible as soon as possible. I promise you won't be missed.

    Why does Japan give fools like this guy responsibility over others? This guy makes GWB look intelligent.

  • 5

    Homeschooler

    Can you imagine the conversation? "Well Mrs Tanaka, you were a stay at home mother, you raised four children, and have 12 tax paying grandchildren, but you didn't work after they were born? Well you certainly didn't pay into the state, and you were a bon bon eating loser. Im make my apologies, but Im afraid I will have to insist we no longer give you your heart medication. Now now, don't cry, its for the good of Japan. Say goodbye to Grandma, kids."

  • 3

    slumdog

    Homeschooler,

    Exactly. I can't fathom it.

  • 7

    Betraythetrust!

    Some of the comments here sicken me but come as little surprise. We see more and more a lack of respect for others especially those who are weak and need help from society. Japan was almost a third world country after the war with malnutrition the norm. These old people and their children made Japan what it is now, at the time Japanese worked hard and reaped the cash benefits. Much of these cash benefits have been stolen by the elite as they always have been and still are to this day, Without these old peoples hard work Japan would have an economy similar to Thailand or Malaysia.

    A civilised society cares for all especially the old, young and sick. Some of you should be ashamed but i doubt you will be.

  • -9

    tmarie

    Slum, just because something is "law" doesn't make it smart nor right.

  • 5

    tkoind2

    Honestly I am starting to see Japan through pretty negative eyes. The thinking of leaders here is twisted and wrong. The voters support these idiots by putting them in office. Meanwhile in society we see more and more abuse of elders, of children and of the weak.

    Add to this the high percentage of women and children in poverty, the declining stability of work, the loss of security and the rising right wing movements. And what you do you have? A society in decline.

    I have often thought Abe to be particularly silly and brain dead, but his thoughts sadly represent the new self centered Japan.

    Time to consider other shores. This place is going to the dogs.

  • -6

    tmarie

    Well you can't imagine that conversation because that isn't the type of person we are focussing here, are we?! Huge difference between someone who is comatose and someone who is not but it seems some of you have difficulties understanding that.

  • 4

    globalwatcher

    tkoind2Jan. 22, 2013 - 01:02PM JST

    Honestly I am starting to see Japan through pretty negative eyes

    In old Japanese society, many poor family members used to carry old grandma and grandpa (eating losers) on their backs to mountain and abondon them to starve or freeze to death. These mountains were called Obasuteyama. Humanity was a foreign language to them. It is very sad to say that this kind of thinking is still well alive among some Japanese, and nobody are fighting for their rights.

  • -7

    tmarie

    Global, I remembering studying about that years ago - I think that is why I've always laughed at the whole "We respect our elders" thing for me.

    Tk, dogs often get treated better than humans here... Do agree with your comments though.

  • 3

    Farmboy

    In 2001, he triggered a furor by saying a successful country was one where “rich Jews” wanted to live.

    Japan still has a dearth of decent pastrami ... better work on that, and maybe some decent corned beef and chicken soup to make Japan successful. Bagels aren't enough.

    he had left written instructions that his life is not artificially prolonged.

    Uh- huh... Posting the instructions online and with all the Japanese hospitals would be an excellent way to ensure that his wishes are carried out.

    “Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die...."

    Well, yes, and dying when you want to live is not so good either...

  • 1

    yosun

    globalwatcherJan. 22, 2013 - 01:22PM JST tkoind2Jan. 22, 2013 - 01:02PM JST Honestly I am starting to see Japan through pretty negative eyes In old Japanese society, many poor family members used to carry old grandma and grandpa (eating losers) on their backs to mountain and abondon them to starve or freeze to death.

    I remember many years ago I watched a Japanese film which mentioned about it, in the film an old woman knocked down her teeth by herself because she worried her family regard she is too strong and have to wait very long time before natural death.....

  • -3

    budgie

    For once I agree with the man.

  • -4

    tmarie

    I don't disagree with him in regards to wasted care but it is "amusing" that someone rich would suggest such a thing.

  • -2

    Ricky Kaminski

    Oh dont we just love to bash politicians? The statement has been obviously taken out of context. Not a huge fan either, but wont join the vultures at the first sign of blood, real or made up. This is why leaders change like the seasons here. Give them a break and at least give them a chance to get on with their jobs. Petty.

  • 2

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Yes, comments like this show that Aso is perhaps not a very deep thinker, and maybe neither are the other LDP politicians. Goodness, he is even making Abe look good. But not to worry! The country is actually ruled by bureaucrats. Remember many prime ministers from Koizumi have said they would wrest power from the bureaucrats, but none have.

  • 3

    slumdog

    Slum, just because something is "law" doesn't make it smart nor right.

    Society taking care of its elderly is smart and right. So, this law is smart and right. I don't get why you would deny a woman healthcare after a lifetime of taking care of her family. Seems to me, it is better to encourage and support people that take care of their families.

    You seem to want to give the power of God, as you put it, to the government and doctors to take people off life support and medicines even if the family is against it. That is one dangerously slippery slope you have yourself perched on.

  • 0

    Nessie

    He's the Prince Phillip of Japan. The difference: The Brits keep Prince Phillip away from the economy.

  • -6

    tmarie

    Society taking care of its elderly is smart and right.

    NO ONE is disagreeing with this FFS. What many of us are voicing is the horrible quality of life that MANY have because Japan refuse to turn off the machines. Why you can't seem to get that is beyond me.

  • -3

    Hippari

    Aso is awesome. Tell it like it is.

  • 7

    zichi

    So, who gets to decide when someone should die, certainly not the gov't.

  • -8

    tmarie

    Zichi - perhaps a quality of life index should be created?

  • 4

    sidesmile

    Revolting man. While I appreciate that it probably takes a unique type to be a politician when did it become so easy to be a bad one? Some opinions really are best kept to oneself, Mr Aso. Especially when related to how quickly folks should die in order to lighten the financial burden on an economy that your govt is burying in more debt!...odious ghoul.

  • 7

    zichi

    Brings up the issue of assisted death which is legal in some countries but only the person involves gets to decide to terminate their lives because they are suffering from a painful terminal illness which usually, must be agreed by two doctors.

    @tmarie Zichi - perhaps a quality of life index should be created?

    No it certainly should not. There are even those who believe that children with disabilities shouldn't be allowed to be born? By who's standards would a quality of life be based on.

    All people have an equal right to live as long as they want. The gov't should have zero involvement in these matters. I do support assisted death for those who want to take that road.

  • 6

    zichi

    @tmarie

    In my birth city, Liverpool, there's a special hospital for children born with the most serve of disabilities. Some die within a few years others last more than 20 years. They are bed ridden but are cared for and loved by the medical staff caring for them. Most will have been abandoned by their families. It can't be said these people have any real quality of life and will make a zero contribution to society but we just don't have the right to terminate any one of them.

  • 3

    Thunderbird2

    What he is really saying is "We have to fix the system to make it so that they can die quickly."

    That's still deeply insensitive...

    I can see a whole raft of stories appearing where old people are killing themselves as they see themselves a burden to their families and the state thanks to what this truly revolting, nasty man has said. Then again, maybe that's why he said it.

  • 2

    Betraythetrust!

    @zixh

    Some on here say that those who do not pay taxes should have less rights than those who do, disgusting but true. Civilised society has a duty to care from and protect all. Eugenics began from these ideas and i don't like that.

  • -8

    tmarie

    All people have an equal right to live as long as they want.

    And here is the lies the issue. Do you think anyone in their right mind would be happy to live with bedsore, lying in their own filth, hooked up to a machine that breathes for them and another that feds them? If you are happy to do that, fine by me but don't expect the rest of us to be happy with that or be happy to see people we love "living" like that. And hence the debate. Indeed, a slippery slope and one that brings up all kinds of ethics. I am 100% in favour of euthanasia. We put down "lame" animals out of respect and kindness but many can't see to offer that up to humans.

    They are bed ridden but are cared for and loved by the medical staff caring for them. Most will have been abandoned by their families. It can't be said these people have any real quality of life and will make a zero contribution to society but we just don't have the right to terminate any one of them.

  • 5

    SwissToni

    Aso's ignoring the contribution these people have made all their lives and that government money is in fact the people's money. In the last years and months of life the cost of care will go through the roof, it's common sense and to an extent planned for. There should be a greater balance between curative and palliative treatments so that people's lives can be prolonged and as comfortable as possible. Asking people to move on to save the government money is callous.

  • -7

    tmarie

    **so that people's lives can be prolonged **

    How much longer would you like folks to live for? Japan already ranks one and two for longevity. Quality vs quality in my books.

  • 4

    gogogo

    This guy is a power hungry moron

  • 2

    Azusa Suzie

    I don't want to be hospitalized with food tube if my conditione is permanent. So, thank you Aso, pls open up the debate and change regulations at hospitals.

  • 0

    slumdog

    What many of us are voicing is the horrible quality of life that MANY have because Japan refuse to turn off the machines.

    'Japan' is not refusing anything. The family is, as is their right. If the individual makes their wishes known to the family through legal means, they can have life support removed. If not, it is the family's choice. This is true not only in Japan, but in many countries world-wide. I

  • 0

    slumdog

    How much longer would you like folks to live for?

    For a start, for as long as they want to.

    Japan already ranks one and two for longevity.

    Living a long life is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Quality vs quality in my books.

    I know plenty of elderly living fruitful lives.

  • 2

    Thunderbird2

    Too many old people! Simple, we as a society making a huge mistake defying evolution and natural choice by artificially prolonging unnecessary living, which results in wasted resources.** Granted, some people should live longer if they are a great good of society,** but that should be their choice and their budget to cover that.

    Are you serious? So only those of use to society should be permitted to be cared for by the state? Do you know how bad that sounds?

  • 0

    slumdog

    We put down "lame" animals out of respect and kindness

    There are some that do it out of convenience.

    but many can't see to offer that up to humans.

    Which humans are you talking about? As I said, plenty of people request having their loved ones taken off life support in Japan. It is a person and family choice and the government should not be deciding for them.

  • 2

    slumdog

    perhaps a quality of life index should be created?

    As said above, absolutely not. There have been governments in the past that decided who could live and who could die. I see no need for that history to repeat itself. There is no way it is in the best interest of society to have governments deciding people do not have the right to live because of some abstract and subjective index of quality of life.

  • 4

    zichi

    People in coma are another issue, Thousands of people are in coma but continue to live without the aid of live support machines. Some are in coma for decades, some recover others do not. A British woman was in a coma for 20 years and then woke up.

  • 1

    edojin

    Wonder if Aso would change his mind if he actually was at the head of the "hurry up & die" line?

  • 1

    Nathaw

    In US, one man lobbied for removing feeding tube from his wife even her parents against it. It was successful and he is enjoying her life insurance money with new wife. If Aso idea become reality, many cash hungry people will abuse the system. There will be many relatives, off springs, spouses will become executioners for getting their way. Welcome back to Stone Age.

  • -10

    tmarie

    Slum you still aren't getting who this conversation is about...

    Zichi, people in comas on tubes and the like are exactly what we are discussing. You've given an example of ONE person waking up. How many others have not woken up and died after years of pain?

  • 1

    slumdog

    Slum you still aren't getting who this conversation is about...

    I think I get it. For some, it is about thinking that the government can be trusted to decide which patients should be taken off life support whether the family wants that or not. I think the government should not be trusted with this. You obviously think they should.

    You've given an example of ONE person waking up.

    There are many examples. If the family thinks there is hope, it is their right to take action following that hope.

    How many others have not woken up and died after years of pain?

    It is not the government's right to decide to pull their life support above and beyond what their families want. It never should be.

  • 1

    Tiger_In_The_Hermitage

    The elderly has paid so much taxes in their life and now, a 72 year old politician tells them to hurry up and die to stop costing the government? How ironic.... use and abuse people.

  • -9

    tmarie

    Slum, so you'd rather family members play god? Personally, I think this stuff needs to be decided when anyone is of legal age. Hit 20 and decide if you want to be a veggie until you die or not if you should happen to have an accident or when you get old - make it so that folks can easily change it if they change their mind. Would make things much easier. Like I said, I have orders to not hook me up and keep me "going".

  • 1

    slumdog

    Slum, so you'd rather family members play god?

    I would rather have family members decide than the government, yes.

    Personally, I think this stuff needs to be decided when anyone is of legal age.

    A person can decide if they want.

    make it so that folks can easily change it if they change their mind.

    They can change their minds if they want, as long as they are in their right mind.

    Like I said, I have orders to not hook me up and keep me "going".

    See, you decided. Would you prefer the government make that decision for you? It goes both ways you know.

    The government has no business making these sorts of decisions.

  • 0

    Jusra

    Lmao!The truth of your heart!haha!!Congratulate~ur country had a great Finance Minister!!

  • -8

    tmarie

    The government has no business making these sorts of decisions.

    But yet you support the decision they make to have pension and health care? You really can't expect it both ways, can you? If you don't want them to decide when/if to pull the plug, why should you let them decide the kind of health care you receive in the first place? The standards of medicine and the quality of hospitals and doctors? The age you get your pension and so on. Personally I would rather the government stay out of pension and let folks deal with it on their own. However, living here i don't get that option...

  • -1

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ Thunderbird2

    That's still deeply insensitive...

    Oh yes, I agree, it's insensitive and rude, but the point he is trying to make is a valid one. His comments were made off the cuff in a meeting discussing social security reform; he wasn't expecting it to be broadcast to the world.

    A more adroit politician would have phrased it more carefully, but this is Taro Aso we are talking about.

  • -1

    Cho88

    I get his point. I live with my partner and his grandparents. His grandfather suffers from well advanced Parkinsons disease, can no longer walk or do anything for himself. He is in pain and often contracts additional health problems. He tells us that he wants to die. However, legally we have to prolong his life as long as possible by giving him 20 medications a day and a drip during the night. I feel awful participating in prolonging the suffering of somebody who no longer has any quality of life.

  • 0

    cramp

    hence the importance of a DNR...

    everyone should have one, yes you too

  • 2

    slumdog

    But yet you support the decision they make to have pension and health care?

    You are comparing a government making healthcare and pension available to people to them taking over the decision from families as to whether life support should be takien off of their loved ones? Your scale seems to be way askew.

    why should you let them decide the kind of health care you receive in the first place?

    They don't. The individual gets to choose which hospitals they go to and to which doctors they get seen by. The government just pays for part or all of the care depending on the individual and their families.

    Personally I would rather the government stay out of pension and let folks deal with it on their own. However, living here i don't get that option...

    Yes, well, I would imagine it is quite wonderful to be independently wealthy. Of course, if you get sick, that money can go pretty quickly.

  • 0

    Last_Word

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

    What a heartless comment by Abe typical of this unthinking politician, what about the years of hard work and taxes that the older generation have provided to make the country the modern nation it is today. Such as short sighted view, I hope that voters remember his comments next time he is running for election.

    Remeber what you sow is what you reap.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ Last Word

    What a heartless comment by Abe typical of this unthinking politician

    Did you actually read the article, or are you an "unthinking" person who just reads the titles then jumps to conclusions? The hard work of the older generation has nothing to do with this. Aso isn't talking about cutting their pensions or health care. He's simply talking about a growing number of people hooked up to tubes and machines keeping them artificially alive beyond when their natural body is telling them it's time to go, and that the government needs to make it easier for people who want to avoid this sort of life to make sure it doesn't happen to them. Where he is heartless is he is talking about it as a cost-saving measure, whereas it should be an ethical issue. But regardless of whatever angle he addresses it from, it IS something that needs to be discussed.

  • 3

    SwissToni

    Tmarie, "How much longer would you like folks to live for?".

    For as long as they want. And I suspect as your time runs out, so will you. What kind of a society are you advocating that offs it's contributors once they're used up and become a burden. It's certainly not a power to be given to the state to use and abuse for its own ends.

  • 1

    Laurenço Iscariot Shells

    What the hell is this? Logan's Run?

  • 5

    zichi

    @tmarie

    Zichi, people in comas on tubes and the like are exactly what we are discussing. You've given an example of ONE person waking up. How many others have not woken up and died after years of pain?

    Why do you assume because people are in a coma they are also in pain which usually isn't the case?

  • 5

    zichi

    There are many very rich people who also think there are too many bottom feeders or poor people just using up limited resources.

  • -2

    herefornow

    The hard work of the older generation has nothing to do with this. Aso isn't talking about cutting their pensions or health care. He's simply talking about a growing number of people hooked up to tubes and machines keeping them artificially alive beyond when their natural body is telling them it's time to go, and that the government needs to make it easier for people who want to avoid this sort of life to make sure it doesn't happen to them.

    Papa - horse feathers. That is your SPIN on what Aso said, and only after correcting himself and retreating from his earlier statement. Aso has proven on countless occasions to be a thoughtless and head-up-his-butt politician. So, unlike yourself, I do not choose to give him the benefit of the doubt. Especially when using phrases such as "tube people" and "hurry up and die" Granted, Japan's raidly aging population is a major issue and there needs to be thoughtful discsussion about topics like this. But shooting off your mouth in such a manner is not the way. And, yes the "hard work of the older generation" has everything to do with this, since they paid for the hospitals they are now occupying. And, no, I did NOT miss the wole point of the discussion, I just think your point is wrong.

  • 0

    Tessa

    Assisted suicide for elderly and sick will soon be a reality. Anti aging is now the fastest growing industry in the world as baby boomers are not willing to go quietly into the night or walk out on the ice pack and let the polar bear eat them so as to not burden the family. Part of the Americanization of Japan is too much consumerism and a disposable mentality .. including disposing of elders who should be cherished for their knowledge and for their rights as ancestors to current generation. There is a problem with the birth rate.. because women do not want to have children until later so they can shop and take trips to Hawaii for months at a time.. and the cost of educating one child is frightening. Japanese culture and its people do not know how much the world needs you to be strong.. to be leaders in social structure, organic foods, caring for family and respecting the past with a vision for the future.

    This is the most sensible and insightful post that I've read on this thread. Thank you, Kimokekahuna Hawaii. Unfortunately the people of Japan have made incredibly rapid, dramatic social changes in a very small time frame, unlike the Western societies that had decades to get used to it all. I personally feel that the generation gap in Japan is far larger than in other countries, and growing larger all the time.

  • 2

    papasmurfinjapan

    @herefornow Nonsense. The only spin goin on here is that of the author of the article who mistranslated Aso's comments, and the numerous posters who either don't understand Japanese or are too lazy to read what he actually said in his native language to see that he isn't saying he wants to see old folk hurry up and die. I do not presume to know what Aso is thinking, but I know what he said and I stand by my interpretation. I do agree, and have stated many times that how he said what he said was inappropriate, but I refuse to jump on the bandwagon and put words in his mouth.

    He corrected himself because he is the deputy PM. He was no doubt pushed to make it clear that his insensitive comments do not represent the official stance of the Japanese government, but merely his own personal opinion.

    @ Tessa Rest assured the daughters of Japan are safe. The age of consent is indeed set low by national law, but each prefecture sets their own age of consent, the average being about 18. I suspect you may have already known that however,

  • 2

    SwissToni

    Tmarie, ""Living for as long as they want." You do understand that humans aren't immortal, right?".

    I think most adults have experienced the loss of a loved one, so your flippant remark does you no credit. The vast majority of those that have gone, even those who have suffered painful debilitating conditions would rather have stayed alive. Where do you draw the line for dispatch tmarie? Should those with lifelong painful disabilities, or chronic diseases be put down when they get older?

  • 4

    zichi

    @tmarie There are thousands of families who have the life support machine of a loved one turned off, usually on the advice of the doctors. My point is, the decision to switch off should never be one that can be made by the gov't or doctors. It must always be a decision to be made by the family.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Even with the corrected translation, there's something wrong with trying to fix the system "in order for people to die quickly". Aso already notes that he has a living will established, so anyone who wants to "die quickly" should have one set up, right? Why is there a problem, then? Is it because not enough elderly are wanting to die quickly to suit his tastes?

  • 0

    realist

    The asylum doors have been opened and the former inmates are now governing Japan again.

  • 1

    badsey3

    Really this is a sign of the break-up of the family. Once you have politicians governing your family/life you are getting ever so closer to tyranny.

    There is no way a Yakuza family would ever consider this. It is almost un-Japanese. =You should either die at work (at what you love) or naturally (with your family at your side). Dying from old age should be done at the home and not the hospital.

    If Government wants abortion then it should be done evenly across all ages -starting with the politicians. Lots of "worthless" politicians that can be aborted these days it seems.

  • 3

    Cos

    Why is there a problem, then?

    That seems to be his plan for Japanese finances.

    Do you think anyone in their right mind would be happy to live with bedsore, lying in their own filth, hooked up to a machine that breathes for them and another that feds them?

    Yes, I've known such persons, some very close, over decades. At the other extreme, some want to die when they are a fit teen athlete. What is sure is I have not met anyone that wants a government to decide when they should die.

  • -2

    ubikwit

    It didn't very long for old Aso to get into form!

    Bring on the mike!!

  • 1

    Eric Schneider

    Aso, time to fall on your sword. Or read some Dickens. What an ill informed idiot.

  • 2

    King8

    My wife who read the original Japanese article told me that it was translated wrong and that the translators painted him in a negative way.

  • 1

    Fadamor

    As I said, even with the corrected translation he's not making sense. If he can leave "written instructions that his life is not artificially prolonged", then anybody else who wishes for that can do so as well. Already. Without any additional meddling by the government. The only reason the government would want to step in is if not enough people are taking the "living will" option - not enough for the ACCOUNTANTS' liking, at least. When the government starts generically dictating at what point people must be removed from life support, we slip further into inhumanity.

  • 1

    Achernar

    This sort of offensive drivel should hardly come as a surprise from Taro Aso, an over-privileged intellectually challenged idiot. But still, look on the bright side, maybe Aso will take his own advice.

  • 0

    Jaymann

    I wish that Aso would turn his attention to website moderators instead of the elderly (how about that one?.. or shall I just change to one of my dozen odd aliases?)

  • -6

    tmarie

    ** The vast majority of those that have gone, even those who have suffered painful debilitating conditions would rather have stayed alive. **

    And you know this how? You've chatted to them after death have you?

    My point is, the decision to switch off should never be one that can be made by the gov't or doctors. It must always be a decision to be made by the family.

    Fine. They can pay then for that option. Why should government money, which Japan has little of these days due to useless bureaucrats wasting it, be spent to keep people alive when clearly, if mother nature was left to her devices would not be alive? Someone in a coma can't eat, the can't use the bathroom without soiling themselves... Someone who has been in a coma for more than six months is so whittled away and has such a low chance of waking up I think that money is best spent elsewhere - say, those who are alive. Education for example.

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    @ Fadamor It's not that easy. Take this report on terminal care from 2010. On page 24 it states that 34.5% surveyed representing the general population do not want terminal care. 17.5% said they do. The problem is 21.1% said they don't know. There is a lack of information on this topic. Older people have probably never heard of a "living will". They don't know they need to leave their wishes in writing. Just telling your doctor or presuming your kids will know what to do is not enough. The ageing society needs to be educated as to what their options are, and how they can go about choosing them. 21% is too high a number of people who "don't know".

    A few years ago I had to watch my wife's grandfather go through this. He was 93, in a nursing home, bed-ridden and hooked up to machines. He caught a cold and started getting weaker. He was prepared to go. We were prepared for him to go. When we went to say what we though would be our final goodbye, we saw him being held down by 2 nurses and having a tube jammed down his throat, despite his protests and screams "Let me die. Just let me die. I want to die". But he didn't write it down, so they didn't listen. He should have died that day, but they abused him and kept him alive for another few weeks for what?

    @Achener I'm not defending the man, but "intellectually-challenged"? The guy did go to Stanford and LSE you know. Unlike most Japanese politicians, he may speak his mind, but he is no fool.

  • 1

    papasmurfinjapan

    Sorry, here's the report

    http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/iryou/zaitaku/dl/07.pdf

  • -5

    tmarie

    Sad to hear that experience but echos so many other stories I've heard. My grandfather was treated the same way because my grandmother couldn't deal with letting him go. He suffered because if her and I still haven't forgiven her for her selfishness.

    The Terry Shirvo case (spelling) a few years ago is what made me sort my paperwork out. I had no doubts at the time my mother would have kept me alive and suffering if I didn't get the paperwork done. Euthanasia is much needed and humane. Allow folks to die with dignity but yes, older folks are not aware of their options. Hopefully this will bring it to their attention.

  • 1

    Scrote

    Well it's one way of bringing in a new generation of LDP weasels.

    I hope Abe is going to take responsibility for appointing the clown Aso to his cabinet.

  • 2

    slumdog

    Fine. They can pay then for that option.

    You still do not get it. How can that be? The patients or their spouses entered into a contract with the government in which, in return for making monthly payments, they would receive healthcare and pensions. That is what pays for their care. In other words, they are paying for their care. Why should the contracts be broken and their benefits taken away? That is what the national health insurance and similar programs are there for.

    Why should government money, which Japan has little of these days due to useless bureaucrats wasting it, be spent to keep people alive when clearly, if mother nature was left to her devices would not be alive?

    Sorry, that is a ridiculous argument. There are plenty of people dealing with many different health issues that would possibly kill them if not for medicines. That is the point of medicines and medical care. The government money you speak of was received from the very people who are receiving the healthcare. If they, or their spouses, did not pay into the program, they would not receive the benefits. The government entered into a contract and has an obligation to keep up its end of it. If you have a problem with useless bureaucrats wasting money, that is one thing to take up with them. However, it should not be taken out on honest hard working people who've paid into the system and deserve to receive the benefits of such payments.

  • -8

    tmarie

    And if you think governments don't break promises perhaps come and talk to me in 40 years when there is no money in the pot I am currently paying into...

  • 1

    slumdog

    tmarie,

    I do not think the government keeping its social obligation and contract with its paying residents to be a waste of tax money. It is a contract and the government has an obligation to uphold it. As to there not being enough money in the pot, perhaps if everyone that should pay actually did pay, as the elderly receiving benefits did, there would be enough money.

    Regardless, if I make payments to buy something, in this case benefits, I expect to receive them.

  • 3

    zichi

    Everyone unless exempt pays 30% of their health care costs which is on top of years of paying into the health system.

  • -5

    tmarie

    Zichi, you are very mistaken if you think everyone is paying into the pot. Many here do not pay a penny - and with no punishment for those who don't, it isn't being taken seriously.

    Slum, I can promise you our contract will be broken due to lack of money. No kids means no one to prop up the system. You an expect them but I think you'll be sorely disappointed.

  • 3

    zichi

    @tmarie Like I have said, everyone unless exempt pays 30% of their health care costs.

  • 1

    Homeschooler

    Zichi there is no point preaching humanity to those who are so devoted to money and only money and so passionate about preserving only what is theirs. Perhaps those who are so antisocial should live in a tax haven or make their own brave new world society somewhere, just don't expect me to play any part of it.

  • -5

    tmarie

    Sochi, many bit exempted are not paying. Of all the posters on here I would've thought you would know this.

  • 3

    slumdog

    Slum, I can promise you our contract will be broken due to lack of money.

    I hope it does not come to that. However, at the very least, it is a better excuse than suggesting breaking the contract because 'it is a waste of money'.

    A little gratitude for your healthcare that I pay for, no?

    It is hard to be grateful to you for giving something you neither want to give nor want us to have.

  • 1

    zichi

    @Homeschooler,

    Zichi there is no point preaching humanity to those who are so devoted to money and only money.

    Sadly, you are correct.

  • 2

    zichi

    If its about money, then compared with other occupations, both doctors and politicians are overpaid, nurses underpaid

  • -5

    tmarie

    Zichi, 100% agree with you in regards to over and underpaid. You can add teachers, care workers and kindergarten and daycare workers into the underpaid as well.

    And it isn't all about the money as I've said oh, how many times now? Some are in pain and suffering. Why prolong that?

  • 5

    zichi

    @tmarie

    And it isn't all about the money as I've said oh

    in your comments you have mentioned money several times...

    Some are in pain and suffering. Why prolong that?

    And thousands are not suffering. But my point again which you fail to grasp, is the decision must remain with the family and not with the doctors or gov't.

    • Moderator

      zichi and tmarie, please do not address each other on this thread any further, since all you are doing is going around in circles and bickering.

  • -2

    Tom Webb

    Me thinks that Aso will introduce the old custom of abandoning old folks on mountain tops and forests in the winter to die off. It seems that the government can't afford to pay out old-age pensions anymore.

  • 5

    zichi

    Japan's health care spending is only 20th among (OECD) countries. That amount was less than the average of 9.6% across OECD countries in 2009.

  • -1

    dracpoo2

    ****I can't believe he said that...********

  • 3

    SwissToni

    Tmaries, "And you know this how? You've chatted to them after death have you?"

    Unrealistic. However common sense and the human survival instinct would dictate most want to live. In my own experience, those close to death I've known that is, a couple in a deal of discomfort, have all wanted to live. Their families and friends all wanted them to live. There are very few that have had enough and want to die and they certainly shouldn't be encouraged to do so for budgetary considerations.

  • 2

    oliver p reilly

    I bet he did not say this to his parents.

  • -3

    Maria Ybanez

    Some things would have sound much better coming from another person, with more sensibility. I understand that maybe old people who is very sick should be allowed if they want to die peacefully, but I don't think the government's money is something you should consider before them.

    He should have said "wealthy people", instead of "rich jews" at least T_T...

    He can be honest, but needs some diplomacy.

  • -3

    Athletes

    Tom Webb

    Me thinks that Aso will introduce the old custom of abandoning old folks on mountain tops and forests in the winter to die off. It seems that the government can't afford to pay out old-age pensions anymore.

    Aso is 72 now and he is first one to start with that old tradition. If you have any parents or In laws wish to perform Ubasute(Abadoning old woman), many volunteers are waiting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubasute

    There was a movie about Ubasute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TheBalladofNarayama(1958_film)

    There was also Korean movie of Ubasute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goryeojang(1963).

  • -3

    Athletes

    That link is for Aso. Hope he has some spare time to read it.

    http://writing.wikinut.com/Legend-of-Ubasuteyama-,-a-famous-Japanese-folktale/1gep0jqy/

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    AthletesJan. 24, 2013 - 09:32AM JST

    /Thank you for the weblinks. I have read them all.

    If you have any parents or In laws wish to perform Ubasute(Abadoning old woman), many volunteers are waiting.

    Many volunteers are waiting? Is this real? Please provide the weblink, so that I can read. Thanks.

    • Moderator

      Back on topic please. Posts should focus on Aso's comments.

  • 0

    papasmurfinjapan

    In my own experience, those close to death I've known that is, a couple in a deal of discomfort, have all wanted to live. Their families and friends all wanted them to live.

    I'm not doubting your experience, nor trying to change your stance on the issue, but your experience is not representative of the population as a whole. Before my mother died, she made it clear she did not want terminal care, and we didn't want it for her either. We could have kept her alive after a severe stroke for as long as we liked I suppose, but we followed her wishes and the decision was made to turn the life support machine off, and I believe it was the correct one. Her time had come. Everyone has a different story, and it is a very personal issue that needs to be handled case by case. Whether it is "Right" or "Wrong" is subjective, not concrete.

    That said, only 17.5% of Japanese (in an official survey by the govt) have said they want terminal care. It is certainly not the majority of people.

  • 0

    lrodriguezsosa

    Bad translation.

  • 2

    SwissToni

    Papasmurf, my sympathies for your loss. It must have been a very difficult time.

    I recognise personal experience doesn't speak for all, and I hope I didn't try to represent my opinion as such. My opinion is that the decision is a personal one and should be taken on the basis of medical need and the patients and families feelings. No one should be made to feel they would be better off dead because it would save the government's ( our) money.

    I'd be I interested in seeing the figures you mention, do you have a link? You may also want to take a look at the hospice system in the UK. Not perfect by any means but a great example of how people can end their days with dignity and support.

  • 1

    sidesmile

    I dont see a great many people in his circle jumping to his aid so the translation cant be that far off mark. Its on the international news networks and I assume (rightly? wrongly?) that they run it past a translator. I've also discussed this with a handful of Japanese medical professionals who seem to agree that whats reported is exactly what was said. Granted, it may not be word for word but the nail has been hit on the head as to what was meant. This cabinet is doomed..like all the ones in recent previous years..gaffe and scandal ridden..rotten..rubbish..neeext!

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Guess he is less than 60. Jerk

  • 4

    papasmurfinjapan

    @SwissToni

    Here it is. I actually already posted it above, but on second look, it seems I made a mistake in my reading http://www.mhlw.go.jp/bunya/iryou/zaitaku/dl/07.pdf

    24.6% want terminal care for a family member

    52% don't

    21% don't know

    The percentage of people who want terminal care drops sharply among medical professionals. Only 11.6% of doctors, and 9% of nurses answered in the positive. People in welfare, for reasons I do not know, are closer to the general population at 21.9%

    I'm referring to the graph on pg 24.

  • -3

    anglootaku

    lol that is funny but bad PR though..

  • 3

    papasmurfinjapan

    @sidesmile

    You are right. The international media is using the same term as well. Very interesting, and I must admit, very strange as well. The focus of criticism in the Japanese media itself is not so much focused on that comment, but the comment "tube people" and general lack of respect he showed to the elderly by suggesting the government should fix the system so it can save some money.

    I ran the original Japanese article by a few locals as well, and none of them seemed too shocked by the "hurry up and die" comment. In Japanese what he is saying in that section actually makes sense, and though said crudely, it is not controversial. Everyone I ran it by took offense at the "tube people" comment.

  • -1

    sfjp330

    Knowing what is coming makes many elderly people very aware of how cruel and without any remorse from our society, government and doctors treat the terminally ill. Death row inmates in the U.S. facing execution receive more compassion and concern than the terminally ill in Japan. They are given a chance to say good-bye to loved ones, are offered comfort and every effort is made to make sure their death is quick and painless.

    In Japan, the suffering of the terminally ill and their families are ignored. It is not compassionate to force a terminally ill person to live when an acceptable quality of life no longer exists. It is unfair to impoverish their families and leave them with insurmountable debts caused by prolonged dying. It is cruel to make them die alone because the extended death has destroyed the emotional bonds they once shared. If we choose to end our life, we must do it while we still have an acceptable quality of life, before the decision is taken from us and we must act alone. Why insist that death must be prolonged, expensive and lonely?

  • -2

    Jaime-Victoria Matsuo

    if you impose this hurry and die , this is good idea .many old man want to die early to rest in peace . they tired to live any more . can not walk to toilet ,take a bath and eat .

  • 1

    Alejandro Dela Cruz

    This is rude, I just can't believe someone can say something like this in japan. >.<

    on another note, this is quite funny. lol.

  • 1

    Luiz /BRAZIL

    Luiz / Brazil jan. 25,2013

    Aso´s words have nothing to do with Human Rights principles . He´d better learn Buddha´s teachings or at least hear Jesus Christ´s how to love every person teachings. God have mercy on him !!

    Sao Paulo City,BRAZIL

  • -1

    bruinfan

    There are various issues here. I wouldn't mind pensions being cut for wealthy land owners (possibly phased back if they were to sell their land).

  • 0

    bokuwamo

    Have you heard of Hospice in America? Die with dignity? A lot of the postings here are as if they did not read the article or did not understand it. Calling Aso names that just don't fit or make sense to what is being said.

  • 1

    hidingout

    Guess he is less than 60. Jerk

    Actually he's 72.

    I have asked many of my Japanese friends what they think of Aso's comments. Most of them tend to excuse his words. Two of my friends who are doctors have said that Aso has a very legitimate point. Many elderly people just want to die, at home and with some dignity, but the hospitals are bound to keep them alive as long as possible even if there is no hope of recovery or improved quality of life. Its a tricky issue.

    And for those folks who think Aso is a "jerk", maybe check around and see how other countries are handling the "right to die" issue. In the UK the establishment (health care system) puts "hopeless" cases on a "death pathway" which includes withdrawing care.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2161869/Top-doctors-chilling-claim-The-NHS-kills-130-000-elderly-patients-year.html

  • 0

    binhan

    No need for a mere mortal human being to argue about right of birth ,life ,death ..it is endless and far beyond human capacity to understand. If you say an old person who can not feed himself should die , what will happen to a new born baby? when you say a baby has a future and this sick old man does not, can you tell me what will be the future of this baby? can you tell me you will be still alive in the next morning?...

  • 0

    Ruhul Kuddus

    No Emotion Just reality.

  • 0

    Ruhul Kuddus

    To kidnap fundamental right of old people

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