“They’re hobbling around and constantly going to the doctor,” Prime Minister Taro Aso was quoted as saying in a transcript of a Nov. 20 meeting of ministers on economic policies.

“I am paying taxes. Why should I pay money for those who lazily drink and eat and do nothing?” he said.

The transcript was released overnight, drawing immediate criticism in the Japanese media and forcing an apology from the prime minister Thursday.

“I apologize if the remarks offended people who are suffering illnesses,” Aso said on nationally televised news.

He has already had to apologize for joking about people with Alzheimer’s disease, saying the ideal country would be one that attracts “the richest Jewish people,” and comparing the opposition Democratic Party of Japan to the Nazis.

As foreign minister, Aso raised ire in Asia by reportedly crediting Japan’s brutal colonial rule before World War II as raising Taiwan’s literacy and educational levels, hinting his nation had done Taiwan a favor.


Japan leader irks public with insensitive remark (Associated Press,Yahoo)
Aso apologizes for remarks about the costly medical bills of lazy old people (Japan Probe)

4 thoughts on “Taro Aso Offends the Elderly

  1. As far as I know, “brutal colonial rule” is not at all the appropriate description for Japanese administration in Taiwan. So that’s one for Aso. Everything else though, he’s crazy to be saying. The elderly are like 50% of the voting population!!

  2. There might be some positive aspects to Japanese rule, but there were many more negative ones, such as sexual slavery among other things.

    As a result of the war, Taiwan suffered many losses including Taiwanese youths killed while serving in the Japanese armed forces, as well as severe economic repercussions from Allied bombing raids. By the end of the war in 1945, industrial and agricultural output had dropped far below prewar levels, with agricultural output 49% of 1937 levels and industrial output down by 33%. Coal production dropped from 200,000 metric tons to 15,000 metric tons, and electricity production fell from 320 kilowatts to 30 kilowatts. (Source)

    As for the elderly, Taro Aso is crazy to be saying such things not because the remarks are aimed at the group that represents a large portion of the electorate, but because such statements are utterly ignorant of the suffering that some people endure.

  3. Well, everything in the source you quote is blaming the war, so that wasn’t the Japanese hurting Taiwan but the Allies. Now, of course you can argue that if Taiwan hadn’t been Japanese territory then it wouldn’t have suffered devastation, sure..Then again, all that industry developed in Taiwan was fostered by Japan. They’d been in the island for 45 years when the war broke out. i agree sexual slavery is a very bad thing.

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