Tokyo: Days before the general elections in
Japan, gaffe-prone Prime Minister Taro Aso has raised a storm
with an advice to the country`s youth not to get married if
they do not have money.
"If you don`t have money, you`d better not get married,"
Aso told a meeting with students here, Kyodo news agency
"It seems rather difficult to me that someone without any
pay can be seen as an object of respect (worthy of a
partner)," he said when asked whether a lack of funds made it
difficult for young people to start a family or lead to late
marriages, which in turn have contributed to Japan`s low
Aso, whose policy flip-flops have contributed to his
dwindling popularity since he took office a year ago and whose
Conservative party was expected to be ousted in the August 30
polls, was immediately criticised for his latest slip of the
tongue by the Opposition.
Katsuya Okada, secretary general of the main opposition
Democratic Party of Japan, slammed Aso for "failing to
understand the reality."
"Nobody accepts low income out of choice," he said.
Social Democratic Party chief Mizuho Fukushima described
Aso "too insensitive and too short of awareness about human
rights," agencies reported.