Finance Minister Taro Aso, 75, said he wanted to ask an elderly person who was worried about the future just how long they intended to live -- a comment that is expected to spark controversy.
"I heard someone on TV saying something totally ridiculous, like 'I'm worried about how I'm going to carry on after I turn 90 years old,' and I wanted to ask that person, 'Just how long do you plan on living?'" Aso said.
The minister made the statement during a Liberal Democratic Party branch meeting in the city of Otaru, Hokkaido on June 17.
In addition to pointing out the necessity of expanding domestic consumption during his speech, Aso also said just prior to making the controversial comment, "I really want people to think about what they use their money for. Money is worthless unless you use it, and I don't understand why people just keep saving it."