BBC News 24 carried a report, Thursday, about aging. It included a baby and its family, plus a man who was over 100. As the report pointed out the baby is predicted to live till at least the age of 100. The elderly gentleman was speaking about longevity and what he believes has helped him live a long live, remaining fit and reasonably healthy. He credited a great deal of his good fortune to his wife, and their love for each other.
Across the world in Japan one Minister has a different approach to the elderly. Japanese Finance Minister Taro As, just wishes they would 'hurry up and die'.
The UK, rightly so, is often derided for its treatment of the elderly. Unlike some countries it does not respect its elderly generation. With an increasingly large proportion of the population now falling into the term elderly, perhaps it is rethinking some of its policies. It is a fact that the Tories are looking to woe the elderly voters in the electorate. Older people usually use their right to vote and vote with their 'pockets'. That is if they are financially hit by one party they will vote elsewhere.
A large proportion of older voters are conservative but that may not be cast in stone. It is doubtful however that any UK minister, unless he was insane or had a 'death wish', would tell older people to; 'hurry up and die'!
Using what most people will call offensive words the Japanese Minister referred to the elderly, who can no longer feed themselves, as "tube people". He 'put himself in their shoes' saying if he were in the same position he would want to die. Not because life had become so dreadful but because he would feel, "increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government." He then said the situation will only be resolved when these people 'hurry up and die'.
Japan is one country that in the past has shown great respect for its elderly citizens. Is the Minister's view simply his rantings or a shift in ideology?
Are only healthy elderly Japanese citizens worthy of respect?