Friday, 28th November 2008
In General Japan News,
Aso apologises for gaffe about Japan's OAPs
Taro Aso, the occasionally controversial prime minister of Japan, has caused fresh controversy by saying that elderly people are a burden on the taxpayer.
In the transcript of a meeting on economic politics held with his minister on November 20th, Mr Aso is quoted as saying: "They're hobbling around and constantly going to the doctor."
The comments have been widely reported in the Japanese and attracted criticism, forcing Mr Aso to issue a public apology.
On national television, he commented: "I apologise if the remarks offended people who are suffering illnesses."
Yukio Hatoyama, the leader of the opposition, said: "I can't help but wonder whether such a person is really fit to be prime minister."
Previously, Mr Aso was forced to apologise after making fun of people living with Alzheimer's disease and stating that the ideal country would be one that attracts "the richest Jewish people".
He has also compared the rival Democratic Party of Japan to the Nazis.