Everyone knows that Japan, whose population is now declining for the first time in its history...
...sold more adult than baby diapers for the first time in 2012, and is "older" than any nation in the world, has a "demographic problem."
What few may know, however, is that it also has a secret plan to fix said "demographic problem" - a solution that would make Hitler, Goebbels and Stalin proud.
In 2013, then Deputy PM Taro Aso, 72 years young at the time, suggested that the elderly in Japan should just "hurry up and die" because "You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government."
Well, the now death-defying 75-year-old finance minister took another swing at the elderly... saying last week that he wondered how much longer a 90-year-old person intends to live.
The outspoken Aso, who is also deputy prime minister, made the comment at a Liberal Democratic Party rally in Otaru, Hokkaido, on Friday, where he said: “I recently saw someone as old as 90 on television, saying how the person was worried about the future. I wondered ‘How much longer do you intend to keep living?’ “
His comments, part of a speech urging wealthy elderly citizens to spend more to spur the economy, drew immediate fire from Democratic Party President Katsuya Okada.
“This is an insult to the nation’s elderly,” Okada told reporters in Yufu, Oita Prefecture, on Saturday. “It’s extremely disheartening that someone who cannot understand the public’s concerns about nursing care is serving as finance minister.”
During the Otaru rally, Aso pointed to the more than ¥1.7 quadrillion of personal assets held nationwide, saying the money needs to be spent.
“The biggest problem at the present is how everyone is staying put,” he said. “If you don’t spend the money you have, that money will mean nothing. What’s the point of accumulating more wealth? Just looking at the money you have?”
So hurry up and die already...
As we remarked previously, remember that this is the nation that the US is set to imitate at all costs: in everything from the rising debt/GDP, to the interest as a % of revenue, to the demographic distribution of the population, to, well, everything. And, perhaps, one day to the treatment of the elderly. Because unlike the US, Japan does not have an insolvent Social Security Fund and underfunded liabilities that amount to about 10 times its GDP. Ironically, in the perspective of benefits promised to its society, Japan is in a better place than even the US.