"Hurry up and die" is a motto that's not worth living by, and most especially one that should not be addressed to the elderly. However, Taro Aso, Japan's newly appointed deputy prime minister just delivered this speech to a news conference and is now hailing in criticism for the Japanese official, reports The Globe and Mail.
In his speech, Aso was pertaining to the burden that Japan has to shoulder for the medical expenses and care of the elderly.
Elderly care can be a major issue for countries who have more elders than youngsters, which is the reason why Japan is facing a huge hurdle as one of the aged countries worldwide.
"Even if (doctors) said they could keep me alive, it would be unbearable," Aso said in a statement in ABC News. "I would feel guilty, knowing that (treatment) was being paid for by the government."
Reports say that Aso had claimed that his words were misinterpreted, that hurrying up to die was meant for him alone, and not directed to the senior elders aged 65 and above which make up more than a quarter of Japan's population, reports The Guardian.
The elderly care system in Japan has been in the red, to the point that consumption tax in Japan was increased to 10%, according to BBC.
The finance minister has had a track record not only for public announcement blunders, but even for reading mistakes. In 2009, NBC reported that opposition lawmakers made him go through a televised reading test at parliament.
Here, Aso committed reading mistakes wherein the Japan-China exchanges became "cumbersome" instead of "frequent," and he may have unwittingly criticized government policies by misreading the Japanese term for follow (toshu) to one meaning "stench."
It seems that Aso's list of blunders and misinterpretations will not die out just yet. As for his hurry up and die speech for the Japanese elders, it's an issue that may live longer than necessary.