Monday, January 21, 2013

Does Deputy Prime Minister Aso Want Terminal Patients to Die Off Quickly?

The National Council on Social Security Reform was set up under the three-party agreement between the DP, LDP, and Komeito on the “comprehensive reform of social security and tax.” It its third session, the first under the Ahe administration, Deputy Prime Minister Aso stated with regard to the highly expensive medical care for the terminal stage that the issue “cannot be resolved unless we think of many things, such as making it possible to die expeditiously.” Mr. Aso later explained that his comment was an expression of his own personal values and that it was not meant to be a general proposition. Nevertheless, he asked that his comment be stricken from the National Council records.

There are several jokes here just waiting to be mined. And as one eminent expert said tonight, he would take the rest of the Abe administration over Aso if he had to guess which side would be more likely to come up with a truly stupid statement. But the score so far: Aso 1, the rest of the cabinet 0.

The expert also said that Abe’s performance has been perfect so far. I agree, Abe is keeping the ship on course for the July election. It’s amazing what a practice run (2006-07) can do for you.

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