Japan’s finance minister has sparked controversy by attributing the nation’s low coronavirus mortality rate to the superiority of its social manners.
Taro Aso, who is also deputy prime minister, made his remarks during a parliamentary session as Japan starts to reopen for business after the nationwide state of emergency ended last week.
“I often got phone calls [from people overseas] asking ‘do you have any drug that only you guys have?” said Aso, who has something of a reputation for controversial comments. “My answer is the level of social manners is different – and then they fall silent.”
Critics highlighted how Aso used the Japanese word mindo, which loosely translates as “cultural standard” and is often used by politicians to invoke a sense of nationalism and ethnic superiority.
Renho, vice chair of the Constitutional Democratic Party