kanji

Marriage and Election Charm

Taro Aso, election campaign

On, no, he didn’t! The always gaffe-prone Prime Minister Taro Aso, one week before the election, told a group of university students that poor men are too low status to get married. This was in answer to a question about Japan’s unprecedentedly low birth rate.

Young people “better not get married with little money. .  It seems rather difficult to me that someone without any pay can be seen as an object of respect (worthy of a partner).”

To clarify matters, Aso cited his own experience. “I was late to marry even though I was not quite poor. I can’t say carelessly because I think it depends on the person.”

“Not quite poor” obliquely refers to the fact that his grandfather was prime minister, and his family is one of Japan’s richest, built in part on war-time slave labor. Despite his unfathomable wealth, he is known for his inability to read kanji.

Sadly, this walking disaster’s main challenger is another former prime minister’s grandson, with a shockingly expressionless face and what seem like dead fish eyes. No wonder there is so little excitement.