The elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die”, in order for them not to cost the government money for end-of-life medical care, Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso said on Monday, during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms.
“Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. You cannot sleep well when you think it is all paid by the government. This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die,” Aso said.
“I do not need that kind of care. I will die quickly,” he said. Aso added that he left specific instructions that his life should not be artificially prolonged.
Aso referred to people who cannot feed themselves naturally as “tube people”.
Afterwards, he tried to take his words back by saying he only described his personal wishes when he said the elderly should be left to die quickly.
“I said what I personally believe, not what the end-of-life medical care system should be. It is important that you can spend the final days of your life peacefully”, Aso said.
Japan has one of the oldest populations in the world, with almost a quarter of its 128 million people aged over 60.