In his political career, Taro Aso has had to answer for many misstatements, ranging from “even someone with Alzheimer’s can tell that Japanese rice is more expensive in China than in Japan,” to the Taiwanese, and all the way to people who are aware that floppy disks are not the wave of the future.
But one thing the current prime minister will never apologize for is noting that people in the stock industry “shady” to rural residents and “not trusted.”
In a written formal response to a Diet member’s question (質問主意書), Aso’s government staff declined to retract the comments made during a public appearance. The question came from Muneo Suzuki, an ex-LDP Diet member from Hokkaido who was ousted from his party and the Diet for accepting bribes only to win re-election under his own one-man political party. Since then, his life mission has been to slow down the ship of state with a nonstop flurry of formal written parliamentary inquiries, each of which by law must be answered thoughtfully by staffers with the official government stance.