A Yale University professor sparked outrage for suggesting that elderly Japanese citizens should kill themselves.
In 2021, Yusuke Narita an assistant professor of economics at the Ivy League school, told a news program that the only way to deal with the rapidly aging population in Japan was mass suicide and disembowelment.
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He claimed that the solution was pretty clear…..”In the end, isn’t it mass suicide and mass ‘seppuku’ of the elderly?”
Seppuku was a ritual disembowelment forced upon dishonored Samurai in the late 19th century.
Narita defended his views in a New York Times profile this weekend.
The Mail Online reports: Narita told the New York Times he was ‘taken out of context’ but he has also said that euthanasia could become mandatory in the future, his comments forcing a backlash nonetheless.
He claims that this would allow younger generations to make their way in business, politics and other aspects of society that the older generation refuses to leave.
Japan has a low birthrate and the most public debt in the first world. The country has 1.34 births per women, below the United States’ 1.65.
Last year, Japan saw its population plunge by more than 600,000 due to declining fertility rates and a rapidly aging population.
The country’s population dropped for the eleventh consecutive year and was down by 644,000, according to its Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The overall population fell as deaths exceeded births by 609,000 and as people who moved out of the country outnumbered those who moved in by 35,000.
Yasuke’s comments not only made people angry, but won him a audience – he has over 569,000 Twitter followers.
He frequently shows up in Japanese media wearing casual clothing and presents himself much like a radio shock jock, his Twitter bio proclaiming: ‘The things you’re told you’re not allowed to say are usually true.’
Narita was asked to defend his views in a class earlier this year and did by showing a clip from the 2019 film Midsommar, in which a cult forces an older member to jump off a cliff.
‘Whether that’s a good thing or not, that’s a more difficult question to answer,’ Narita said. ‘So if you think that’s good, then maybe you can work hard toward creating a society like that.’
His comments received renewed attention when social media discovered them in January, with a sociologist proclaiming them as ‘hatred toward the vulnerable.’
Narita told the Times he was ‘primarily concerned with the phenomenon in Japan, where the same tycoons continue to dominate the worlds of politics, traditional industries, and media/entertainment/journalism for many years.’
He allows that the way he said it was meant as a metaphor for how an older generation must be phased out and he has softened his language since.