Japanese minister: Let the elderly hurry up and die already

posted at 10:31 am on January 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

Revealingly, he’s the country’s finance minister.

A quick bit of googling reveals that people think he was talking about letting elderly patients who don’t want to linger in the hospital choose assisted suicide. Could be, but the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is over 200 percent and, thanks to its appalling birthrate, more than 40 percent of the population will be elderly 50 years from now. If he’s thinking of this in terms of the national bottom line, he’ll need an awful lot of elderly “volunteers” to help cut costs.

“Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” [Taro Aso] said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”…

Rising welfare costs, particularly for the elderly, were behind a decision last year to double consumption [sales] tax to 10% over the next three years, a move Aso’s Liberal Democratic party supported…

To compound the insult, he referred to elderly patients who are no longer able to feed themselves as “tube people”. The health and welfare ministry, he added, was “well aware that it costs several tens of millions of yen” a month to treat a single patient in the final stages of life.

Cost aside, caring for the elderly is a major challenge for Japan’s stretched social services. According to a report this week, the number of households receiving welfare, which include family members aged 65 or over, stood at more than 678,000, or about 40% of the total.

He said later that he was only stating his personal preference, not floating a new policy idea for Japan’s health-care system, but c’mon. You can’t have this conversation in the context of welfare expenditures and not have policy in mind. This isn’t even the first time he’s grumbled publicly about elderly Japanese in poor health sucking up the country’s revenue. Per the Guardian, five years ago — when he was prime minister — he said, “I see people aged 67 or 68 at class reunions who dodder around and are constantly going to the doctor. Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.” Right, but one of the purposes of a welfare regime is to protect people from their own poor choices. Now the bill has to be paid. What to do? The options seem … familiar somehow:

Economists and government officials say that Japan, in the coming years, will probably raise the retirement age, again increase taxes and trim spending on everything from education to defense, all to care for its elderly.

Young Japanese — those entering the workforce amid two decades of stagnation — will face the greatest burden: They will earn less in real terms than their parents, pay higher pension premiums, receive fewer social services and, eventually, retire with a less-generous pension package.

And that’s the best-case scenario, experts say, possible only if a notoriously fractious government succeeds in pushing through a series of unpopular measures.

Decades of good policy “can avoid a crisis,” said Masatoshi Katagiri, an economist at Chuo University, but living standards will erode. “Either way,” he said, “it will be gloomy.”

Those of you who think Obama doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism should read that again and then watch O’s inaugural speech yesterday. It’s more accurate to say that no one believes in American exceptionalism quite as much as he does.

Exit question: In 100 years, Japan’s going to be a Chinese colony populated by one guy and about 10 million robots, isn’t it?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

0

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Yes.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

All Robots.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Robots protecting the bottom line.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Perfect.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

“Hey man, would you like to come over here and work for me, you’ve got a certain elan I find attractive.”

-Bark

Bishop on January 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Japanese minister to elderly: Get off our lawn!

Flange on January 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Devious little robots.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort?

Why indeed… Course they can be much younger on our side of the world.

Gatsu on January 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

It would be interesting to know what he actually said in Japanese.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The Japanese people are a weird bunch

blatantblue on January 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Obama has found the potential replacement for Sebelius in case she ever leaves HHS…

Khun Joe on January 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

You know what they need? Death Panels An Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Odysseus on January 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Exit question: In 100 years, Japan’s going to be a Chinese colony populated by one guy and about 10 million robots, isn’t it?

The Chinese would probably see that as some vindication for Japanese atrocities committed in Manchuria in the 30′s.

Bitter Clinger on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Japanese minister: Let the elderly hurry up and die already

…shooting for a position in JugEars administration?
.
.
.
…nice run there Bmore !…LOL when Bishop showed up!

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Until the robots outlive their usefulness. They will then either be parted out scrapped or end up in the great robot graveyard. The cycle will then replenish and continue on unabated for all time forward.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

AWESOME DRUMMER !

blatantblue on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Robots are the scourge of the earth?

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:41 AM

The one thing you would think the Japanese don’t need encouragement in is suicide.

Socratease on January 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Which always reminds me of this. Say, maybe HAL will show up and sing for us.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

It would be interesting to know what he actually said in Japanese.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The proper translation would be, “Mayonnaise?? How the f**k did my people become obsessed with mayonnaise? I’m moving to China.”

The Rogue Tomato on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

He was even more specific further down;

The 72-year-old, who doubles as deputy prime minister, said he would refuse end-of-life care. “I don’t need that kind of care,” he said in comments quoted by local media, adding that he had written a note instructing his family to deny him life-prolonging medical treatment.

To compound the insult, he referred to elderly patients who are no longer able to feed themselves as “tube people”. The health and welfare ministry, he added, was “well aware that it costs several tens of millions of yen” a month to treat a single patient in the final stages of life.

On the plus side, the law of averages states that Japan probably won’t have to put up with him as finance minister or deputy PM too much longer.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

I should add that the obsession with mayonnaise does explain why there’s so much vomit porn in Japan.

The Rogue Tomato on January 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Exit question: In 100 years, Japan’s going to be a Chinese colony populated by one guy and about 10 million robots, isn’t it?

yes.

Weight of Glory on January 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

ROFL at the little guy holding on to the cymbal stand, reminds me of the dwarf roadie that used to work for Metallica.

Bishop on January 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

So as an elderly man himself, he’ll be the first to volunteer to die.. Right?

Illinidiva on January 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

The 72-year-old, who doubles as deputy prime minister…

eon on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Reminds me of the time I told my son, “When I get old, if I ever end up like grandma (Alzheimer’s Disease) just take me out back and shoot me.” Son grinned and said, “You are already old.”

Yikes.

Fallon on January 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

In Japan the birth rate is so low that more adult diapers than baby diapers are sold there:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-23/japanese-stocks-yes-they-really-think-so

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM

The proper translation would be, “Mayonnaise?? How the f**k did my people become obsessed with mayonnaise? I’m moving to China.”

The Rogue Tomato on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Where the most common brand of mayonnaise is Kewpie…

Since I used to be a professional Ja->En translator I’m wondering what he actually said.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Eugenics…It’s what’s for breakfast!

workingclass artist on January 22, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The “death panels” will be run and controlled by robots.

idesign on January 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

The “death panels” will be run and controlled by rObots.

idesign on January 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

the_nile on January 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Welcome to government run healthcare.

Tater Salad on January 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

You first, old man.

thebrokenrattle on January 22, 2013 at 10:56 AM

He probably has a hefty supplemental health insurance policy since the government version ain’t that great, and dramatically increases the more you make. Instead of waiting for elderly to die maybe he should reconsider the national health care system.

Dongemaharu on January 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

If liberals were to take this to it’s logical end they would promote the abortion of more blacks and hispanics. Might as well save money before they are born, because statistically they are more likely to need government assistance.

Tater Salad on January 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Two memes today on the culture of death that our world has opted for. No surprises in this but much sadness.

chemman on January 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The proper translation would be, “Mayonnaise?? How the f**k did my people become obsessed with mayonnaise? I’m moving to China.”

The Rogue Tomato on January 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

to wit:

Mayonnaise is EVERYWHERE in Japan(You, Me, And A Tanuki)

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Who knew that you spelled Alan Grayson “Taro Aso” in Japanese?

On a serious point, as I have been saying forever, with government-run healthcare the bottomline is the bottomline.

Resist We Much on January 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.”

Why should anyone pay for the politicians who put Japan in this situation?

the_nile on January 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I think I’m turning Japanese.

Electrongod on January 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

This clown’s last name is Aso?

Say it out loud and real fast and it is more than appropriate!

pilamaye on January 22, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I think I’m turning Japanese.

Electrongod on January 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM


I really think so…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 22, 2013 at 11:03 AM

Seems he’s nominally a Catholic. I really wonder what his actual words were.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

One guy, ten million swell, er, extraordinarily lifelike robots….
Did I mention that I was born in Brooklyn?

Seth Halpern on January 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Electrongod on January 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

What you do in privacy should really stay private…

coldwarrior on January 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Well, when you think of all those wonderful Japanese innovations that made it big, really big, here in the States…this can’t be far behind, could it?

Euthanasia…it is your civic duty.

All hail Obamacare!

coldwarrior on January 22, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Two memes today on the culture of death that our world has opted for. No surprises in this but much sadness.

chemman on January 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I just ended a post on the abortion story with “Grandma, you’re next!” and this comes up!
Seriously, this is the future. If you think things like negative eugenics were Science Fiction, just wait a few years. How long do you think Junior is going to support our debts?

Boats48 on January 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

coldwarrior on January 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Well said :)

Electrongod on January 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.”

…shut up and pay your “fair share” liberal.

Baxter Greene on January 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

AWESOME DRUMMER !

blatantblue on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Agreed.

did you see that itty bitty robot groupie under the hi-hat? I’ve seen groupies like that before.

Back when I played drums, we had a bass player that never moved just like the bass robot. erie man, erie.

44Magnum on January 22, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Exit question: In 100 years, Japan’s going to be a Chinese colony populated by one guy and about 10 million robots, isn’t
it?

Ah, the fantasy math of the destroy the environment crowd is as crazy as Obama’s idea about the budget. It will a thousand years to get a single Japanese child at the current rate of decline. Human demographic experience is that when the population density is low, people have more children.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.” Right, but one of the purposes of a welfare regime is to protect people from their own poor choices. Now the bill has to be paid. What to do?

We had 800,000 of these parasites of all ages show up on the National Mall yesterday to hail their sugar daddy and listen to him promise them that they could continue to be moochers with absolutely no value to society other than breeding. At least Taro Aso is linking this mentality to the financial costs and not just constituency politics of the American parasite class.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Seriously, this is the future. If you think things like negative eugenics were Science Fiction, just wait a few years. How long do you think Junior is going to support our debts?

Boats48 on January 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

You make the assumption that Junior is paying his way now. I’d venture to say that may not be the case. Not every parasite out there cheering a second Obama term was an old person concerned about Medicare. Plenty of young people who think that being productive and paying taxes is for losers. What with food stamps, Obamaphones, and all the other free stuff that is being offered up to lazy parasites.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

The Chinese would probably see that as some vindication for Japanese atrocities committed in Manchuria in the 30′s.

Bitter Clinger on January 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Indeed.
I know I would.
I was apalled at what I learned researching the subject.

freedomfirst on January 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Fallon on January 22, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I’ve said for years that if I ever come down w/ ALS or whatever, while I can still do it…I’ll head to a body of saltwater and try to attract the attention of a shark. Spawn just laughs.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Human demographic experience is that when the population density is low, people have more children.

thuja on January 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

The Jōmon people believed that too. And where are they now?

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM

A couple of carefully engineered epidemics could really change a nation’s long-range economic outlook.

Or, maybe not so carefully engineered…

trigon on January 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Devious little robots.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

And yet, I’m more interested in what they think about banning guns than anything uttered by fauxlebrities like James Taylor.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 11:25 AM

Gates is rigging up a new and improved Bilderberger Tsunami Raybeam. Japan’s problems to be solved before EOY.

Mr. Arrogant on January 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

I think I’m turning Japanese.

Electrongod on January 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Turning Japanese you say?

EnglishRogue on January 22, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The end result of decades of contraception and abortion. Less and less new people to support old people. Remember when Japanese society respected the elderly, and grandparents were supported by their children and grandchildren? Not any longer.

Ward Cleaver on January 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Last year, for the first time, sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies.

Japan’s Total Fertility Rate: 1.39 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Definition: This entry gives a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country. A rate of two children (actually 2.1) per woman is considered the replacement rate for a population, resulting in relative stability in terms of total numbers. Rates above two children indicate populations growing in size and whose median age is declining. Higher rates may also indicate difficulties for families, in some situations, to feed and educate their children and for women to enter the labor force. Rates below two children indicate populations decreasing in size and growing older. Global fertility rates are in general decline and this trend is most pronounced in industrialized countries, especially Western Europe, where populations are projected to decline dramatically over the next 50 years.

Japan’s FR ranks it at 204 out of out of 223.

Japan is tied with Greece and only beats: Slovakia (1.38); Armenia (1.38); Andorra (1.36); Latvia (1.33); Slovenia (1.31); Poland (1.31); Romania (1.30); Ukraine (1.29); Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.28); Montserrat (UK) (1.27); Czech Republic (1.27); Lithuania (1.27); South Korea (1.23); British Virgin Islands (UK)(1.22); Republic of China (Taiwan) (1.10); Hong Kong (PRC) (1.09); Macau (PRC) (0.92), and Singapore (0.78)

As in Europe, Japan is committing suicide by demographics.

Resist We Much on January 22, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I really wonder what his actual words were.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Here’s a story from Asahi

 麻生太郎副総理・財務相は21日に開かれた社会保障国民会議で、終末期医療にふれる中で「さっさと死ねるようにしてもらうとか、いろんなことを考えないといけない」などと発言、終了後に撤回した。

 麻生氏は終末期医療や延命治療に言及した際、終末期の患者を「チューブの人間」と表現し、「私は遺書を書いて『そういうことはしてもらう必要はない。さっさと死ぬから』と書いて渡してある」と発言。さらに「いい加減死にてえなあと思っても、『とにかく生きられますから』なんて生かされたんじゃあ、かなわない。しかも、その金が政府のお金でやってもらっているなんて思うと、ますます寝覚めが悪い」などと述べた。

 会議の終了後、記者団に対して、「個人的なことを申し上げた。終末期医療のあるべき姿について意見を申し上げたものではない」と釈明した。その後「国民会議という公の場で発言したことは、適当でない面もあった」として、議事録から発言を削除する意向を示した。

genso on January 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

This 70 year old who is in excellent shape says “You first, if you really mean it.”
Heck, why not have a Bataan Death March for seniors? Too messy for you bean counters?

kemojr on January 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Hello, my name is Logan 13 and I have a longevity desire problem….

tomg51 on January 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM

You know what they need? Death Panels An Independent Payment Advisory Board.

Odysseus on January 22, 2013 at 10:39 AM

In UK, people whose cataracts are so bad they cannot drive are being denied operations by six out of ten health trusts as they impose spending cuts.

petefrt on January 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Heck, why not have a Bataan Death March for seniors? Too messy for you bean counters?

kemojr on January 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Just build retirement homes in places where the tsunami defenses are the weakest.

I guess what shocks me the most about this story is that Japan is renowned for honoring their elderly. Hurry up and die isn’t really part of that ethos.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Japanese minister: Let the elderly hurry up and die already

…shooting for a position in JugEars administration?

Or the UN…..given time and like minded leadership, this will become global policy.

hawkeye54 on January 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Or a better idea, do not subsidize them in old age…

I know it is radical, and has not been tried in over 50 years… but it worked wonders to get the world to the 20th century…

It is a self fulfilling self destructive thing to subsidize old age.

First, you make having children much less valuable to people, they can live off other people’s children’s labors.
Second, people thus have fewer children or none at all.
Third, this requires you to take more money from people, making it more costly to raise children.
Fourth, People will have even fewer children.
Fifth, this requires the taxes to increase again.

We destroyed marriage because of Social Security.
We have aborted 50 million babies because of Social Security.
We have failed to have hundreds of millions of babies we otherwise would have because of Social Security.

astonerii on January 22, 2013 at 11:51 AM

“The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”…

… and decrease the surplus population.

… how am I the first one in the thread to make this joke?

The Schaef on January 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

I think it’s called “Hari Kari Healthcare”. I wonder if that’s somewhere in the 2,700 pages?

AnotherJones on January 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

genso on January 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

「さっさと死ねるようにしてもらうとか、いろんなことを考えないといけない」seems to be the relevant quote, but is preceded by “終末期医療にふれる中で“, which suggests some context is missing.

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

“Doddering around” at 67 or 68?
Really?
The last person that age to ‘dodder’ into my office this morning did so after taking his three mile morning walk, and before his not-quite-daily trip to the gym.
My Dad gave up polo at 70. Because his HORSE was too old. Still exercises daily at 75.
Oh, and BTW, Minister-of-Death: They both paid taxes into the system for more than 50 of those years.

What a scumbag. Remind me to never travel to Japan.

orangemtl on January 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM

DarkCurrent on January 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

The press club at work. I like the part where he complained about these remarks being reported and was going to have them struck from the record.

genso on January 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Japanese minister: Let the elderly hurry up and die already

You want entitlement programs, like Social Security, to be solvent again in the near future? There is an easy solution. Stop the stupid health push. Get rid of all “sin” taxes and regulations. The government should be subsidising cigarettes, booze and McDonald’s if they really want to fix things. If people want to allow smoking in their business they should be allowed. Smokers live 10 less years on average, that’s 10 years of Social Security they paid for which they will never collect. Their medical costs will be the same whether death occurs at 70 or 90 so that is a wash.

The solution here is the age old soultion, freedom and liberty.

Rocks on January 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Dude better build some good robots. I buy a lot of things made in Japan. Good things.

CorporatePiggy on January 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM

The government should be subsidizing cigarettes, booze and McDonald’s if they really want to fix things.

The solution here is the age old solution, freedom and liberty.

Rocks on January 22, 2013 at 12:39 PM

What do you think tobacco price supports, ethanol subsidies, and farm subsidies are?

If we hadn’t been subsidizing tobacco farmers (like Al Gore), the anti-smoking campaign would be over by now, because tobacco products would cost more per ounce than a comparable amount of Bollinger.

As for ethanol, corn ethanol stock isn’t just fuel feedstock, it’s also the basis of bourbon.

And let’s not even talk about what a Big Mac would cost.

Myself, I want price supports for marijuana growers. The progressives want it legalized, and I want them all toking up 24/7/365.

Since the typical gram of weed has about twice the tar of even the roughest shag tobacco, and tar is a major cause of the health problems related to smoking, the more our “enlightened elite” indulge in this and their other favorite chemical “enhancements” as ways of proving how sophisticated, mellow, and worldly they are, the sooner they’ll remove themselves from the gene pool.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM

The end result of decades of contraception and abortion. Less and less new people to support old people.

Ward Cleaver on January 22, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Not quite. If anything’s to blame, it’s the Japanese corporate culture that makes your work into the entirety of your adult life. Nobody has the time to raise a child, and with no incentive to do so because of self-imposed long work hours, children are seen as a drain on resources or simply too much trouble to go through. Many companies have initiatives to get their employees to procreate by offering dree day care and bonuses, but it hasn’t been as effective as they’d hoped.

Also, the abortion rate in Japan is roughly less than of the abortion rate in the states. It’s still quite frowned upon, even though the practice enjoys high approval ratings. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure they use far more condoms than we do. Personal responsibility?

mintycrys on January 22, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Exit question: In 100 years, Japan’s going to be a Chinese colony populated by one guy and about 10 million robots, isn’t it?

Wrong…The Robots will go “terminator” on humanity and conquer China and the world.

Humanity will be forced to live in the oceans…

William Eaton on January 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

After you, Taro Aso. Funny how these kooks never think of themselves as being affected by their regs and rules. This is reason #54 to want to keep our guns.

Kissmygrits on January 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort?

I thought this was about old people and now I find that he’s talking about liberals.

Oldnuke on January 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

And preferrably if they are R/Cs.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I thought this was about old people and now I find that he’s talking about liberals.

Oldnuke on January 22, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Maggots on the dole.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Japan already has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, so I guess he wants to encourage the elderly and terminal to increase that?

what is really messed up is that there is a national park in Japan that I was reading about on the net that is somewhat infamous for the amount of people who go there just to commit suicide, or camp while deciding if they want to off themselves or not.

theflyonthewall on January 22, 2013 at 2:47 PM

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/wandering-in-japans-suicide-forest/

there’s plenty of other articles about The Aokigahara Forest on the net as well as videos of people who have gone there.

theflyonthewall on January 22, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Gonna really have to throw granny off the cliff, it appears….

Thing is, a lot of us will be that granny or gramps at some point.

Sherman1864 on January 22, 2013 at 2:56 PM

This has been up all day and nobody said, “RENEWAL!”? We are slipping, people.

At least the Japanese have the US and the lesser Asian Tigers to export to. We’ll be in far more dire financial straits long before the debt-to-GDP ratio hits 200%.

Steve Eggleston on January 22, 2013 at 5:39 PM