Japanese official apologizes after saying elderly should 'hurry up and die'

Japan’s deputy prime minister has offered an apology after he said the country’s elderly should "hurry up and die" to ease financial burdens on government programs.

Taro Aso’s controversial comments came Monday during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms.

"Heaven forbid I should be kept alive if I want to die," the 72-year-old said, according to the Kyodo News, cited by The Telegraph. "You cannot sleep well when you think it's all paid by the government. This won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."

Aso later retracted some of his remarks and said they were “inappropriate.”

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