Regarding the Nov. 19 editorial “Stop squeezing the poor“: Will Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso take time out from his frequent dining excursions at some of the most expensive restaurants in Tokyo to pressure the Lower House to revise the Livelihood Protection Law and get more of Japan’s “dead beat” poor off the government’s welfare rolls?

How inconsiderate of the poor to seek government assistance. If they can’t find a livelihood that allows them a subsistence level existence, then they should shuffle off to the boneyard and be done with it. Why do they assume that the august government of Japan wants to provide a “free lunch”? All of this “livelihood protection” nonsense smacks of socialism and will undermine the democratic spirit of a free Japan. Who knew that the LDP so admired Ebenezer Scrooge, the miserly protagonist in Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.”

If the poor cannot rely on their more affluent relatives to look after them, that’s their problem. As for the abused wife who has fled her home to escape domestic violence, she should learn to endure such abuse. Where’s her “gaman” spirit? Women have grown so soft in the modern era, much too coddled for their own good. Such women should not qualify for welfare support. What of the homeless? Such shiftless vagrants are hardly worthy of any consideration. How dare they seek welfare from the government?

And the mentally ill? Haven’t they any family or relatives to care for them? Why not just hide them away, much as families did in the Edo era? The mentally ill are an embarrassment to the Japanese people, the divine Yamato race. There’s no place in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vision of a Beautiful Japan for the homeless, the abused, the weak or the addlepated. Squeeze the poor till they cry “mercy” and then squeeze them even harder.

Aso’s unique approach to caring for Japan’s rapidly rising geriatric demographic and the terminally ill would save the government billions of yen, money that could be better spent on military hardware and fine wines. Charity for the poor? Bah, humbug!

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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