(Yahoo! News) — Old people in Japan should kill themselves to avoid burdening the state, a professor at Yale University has said.
Yusuke Narita, an assistant professor of economics, has also suggested that euthanasia could be made compulsory.
Last year, official statistics in Japan revealed that over-75s accounted for 15 per cent of the country’s population for the first time. Those over 65 account for 29.1 per cent of the total, making the Japanese population the oldest in the world.
“I feel like the only solution is pretty clear,” said Mr Narita, 37. “In the end, isn’t it mass suicide and mass ‘seppuku’ of the elderly?” – referring to the act of disembowelment employed by dishonoured Samurai in the late 19th century.
Prof Narita told The New York Times his comments had been taken out of context, adding that they related to demands for older people in leadership positions to make way for the younger generation. He said his primary concern was how old people dominated positions of influence in Japanese society.