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Taro Aso and Yoko Kamikawa Image: REUTERS/AP file
politics

Aso praises Kamikawa but says she is ‘not very beautiful,’ and calls her ‘Kamimura’

64 Comments

Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso praised Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa during a speech Sunday in Ashiya, Fukuoka Prefecture, but mistakenly called her “Kamimura” twice and said he didn't think she could be called "very beautiful.”

During his speech, Aso, 83, referred to Kamikawa, who turns 71 on March 1 as おばさん (“old lady”), but praised her English and diplomatic skills, Kyodo News reported. “She speaks her mind and arranges meetings with the people she needs to meet by herself without the help of diplomats.”

Aso said he was impressed that Kamikawa met many of her counterparts one-on-one at the United Nations General Assembly soon after she became foreign minister last September. “No Japanese foreign minister has done something like that before. She is a new star and could inspire new stars to emerge in politics.”

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64 Comments
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Aso never fails to entertain.

26 ( +40 / -14 )

Could he be Japan's first honest politician?

-17 ( +19 / -36 )

Guiness book of world records holder of the most gaffes by a politician is ... Aso. What an embarrassment. Perhaps what is more surprising is an idiot like Aso can somehow remain in a position of power. Probably because behind the scenes in Japan the Oyajis run the show, and they don't find anything he says offensive.

17 ( +33 / -16 )

Look who’s talking!

42 ( +45 / -3 )

Look in the mirror, Aso. What a git. Nice dye job, too.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

The guy looks like a deranged old man who can barely remember what he ate yesterday. Retire already you ugly old fart!

25 ( +33 / -8 )

Aso - stupider than a bog brush and not as useful.

15 ( +22 / -7 )

And people wonder why Japan never changes? This dude should have been put out to pasture a generation ago!

20 ( +32 / -12 )

Aso looks like death warmed up. Old, senile and utterly useless. His electors likely have an IQ half their own ages!

13 ( +21 / -8 )

She is a new star and could inspire new stars to emerge in politics

Only in Japan is a 71-year-old a "new star" in politics.

(I know there are quite a few oldsters in US politics. But, nobody there would ever refer to a 71-year-old as a "new star")

12 ( +23 / -11 )

83 and still a full head of black hair. What a virile young go-getter, working for the betterment of the people.

He should retire but won’t. At least each gaffe is one step closer to the grave.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

A childish insult and a slip of the tongue. Outrageous.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Aso himself is not very handsome with his crooked smile, but at least he is a remarkably good clown show. Rising star.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

At 83 one should be retired and enjoying life, but looks like Aso enjoys parasiting Japanese institutions.

I fail to understand what's the point of keep earning and earning when your life (and those of, at least, 3 generations after yourself) is already solved.

I now remember what that song from Faithless said: greed is a weapon of mass destruction.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Old Aso is an ass and, a disgrace to Japan's image in the world.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Aso, pervasive insidious influence pulling the strings through a faction system of coercion.

The alleged connection, aided with the unrestrained use of slush funding.

Aso is able to continue, an aged gaffe prone relic unwilling to relinquish power or authority, so the much needed reforming, the economy, employment policy, education, depopulation, and social care.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is not

8 ( +11 / -3 )

in control....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Aso gets a free pass by virtue of being a grandson of a respected prime minister, Shigeru Yoshida. This is a prime example of the Japanese nanahikari system in action.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Aso praises Kamikawa but says she is ‘not very beautiful,’ and calls her ‘Kamimura’

Sad that this casual misogynistic comment by this cretinous kakistocrat will get more attention than his corporate ties to POW slavery and praising his most significant accomplishment as raising the consumption taxes twice on working Japanese.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jan/22/elderly-hurry-up-die-japanese

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20211005/p2a/00m/0na/016000c

That's the LDP/Japan Inc. combine for you.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

If Also San can live beyond 100 years old and being the "King-Maker" of LDP. Still waiting a period of 20 years to see if any political changes of Japan.

Being a nation having the longest lifespan of man is not a wonderful thing!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Aso and his tought farts, always entertaining.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And this is the reason why Japan is changing so slowly. People keep voting for the same crooked LDP party over and over, while maintaining those 80+ years olds in power with same views as 40-50 years ago...

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Aso San's clearly in Biden's cognitive decline camp, only lot healthier probably does not eat ice-cream like Biden!

Kamikawa San's doing just fine, helping bring failed US NATO Ukraine Proxy War to close. Nobody cares about her looks, rather effectiveness stabilizing troubled world!

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 06:20 pm JST

Aso San's clearly in Biden's cognitive decline camp, only lot healthier probably does not eat ice-cream like Biden!

Kamikawa San's doing just fine, helping bring failed US NATO Ukraine Proxy War to close. Nobody cares about her looks, rather effectiveness stabilizing troubled world!

Still Putin's War and Kamikawa-san is working to provide support for Ukraine, not undercut it.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

83 and still as sharp as a tack.

Just kidding, Aso is the worst example of an entitled, drunken, useless politician in Japan. But it his family right to rule so the feudal masses will continue to vote him in until he dies.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The guy is a duck looking helmet tool.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kamikawa San and Aso San both agree Ukraine has no more Parliamentary ability to mobilize troops, so war's effectively over, and now it's dangerous clean up time.

Let's hope Kamikawa San can help stabilize world and Ukraine recover from US NATO eastward expansion madness.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Could he be Japan's first honest politician?

New to Japan, I see….

5 ( +8 / -3 )

During his speech, Aso, 83,

Why is he still "working" at 83?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Aso doesn’t look a day over 80!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Bob FosseToday  06:59 pm JST

Aso San's clearly in Biden's cognitive decline camp, only lot healthier probably does not eat ice-cream like Biden!

I recommend that from now you should talk about Aso in every article about Biden.

Both 80's career politicians busy regularly embarrassing themselves. Kamikawa San's thankfully merit based!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So where is Kishida in all this? Definitely not presenting himself as a leader; a real leader would turf this jerk.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

They should appoint him as the head of the LDP. That should would make people gain on the LDP again...

Joke aside, why is this guy still in politics, after putting his feet in his throat so many times?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Aso is one of the shortest serving Prime Ministers in Japanese history. He oversaw the largest political defeat in LDP history and is notorious for making public statements that any public figure with half a brain cell would be career suicide. He is however, a political blue blood which is I guess why this walking, talking PR disaster still haunts the halls of the diet.

To boot. Aso is not someone you could call very handsome.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mr. Aso is just too hard to swallow as usual.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What an absolute embarrassment this anachronism is!

Aso, 83, referred to Kamikawa, who turns 71

in truth though they should both be retired …forcefully if necessary! The Japanese diet needs to have a set retirement age! Give the young people who are more aware of the world they live in a chance to move away from these cronies!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well, this kind of mistake can happen to everyone.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yes, I agree, she is good, just what the country needs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm starting to warm up to Aso more and more.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I also noticed this for an amateur

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Perhaps his message to the party is you don't have to be beautiful to get things done. His perception and the way she is doing things now is a warning to the party that she is a game changer and the way she looks and goes about getting things done could change the way politicians in Japan work and could change those who follow because he is definitely watching, if not he wouldn't have talked about her looks and work lifestyle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I always think of him as Major Aso. And it has nothing to do with the military.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The guy should just resign and disappear since he cannot shut his mouth.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

 “No Japanese foreign minister has done something like that before."

In other words, no other Japanese foreign minister has done their actual job?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

What an Aso!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

He should have made room for a new, younger person 15 years ago.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Who wants to be the first to tell this guy that international diplomacy is not a fashion show runway?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

That just only shows again the massive incompetence of the press and mass media, otherwise they would have reported about the whole brilliant and much more important and impressive rest of the speech instead of that nearly irrelevant part. I was attending there live and therefore know it from first hand, having heard the whole speech.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Put the old guy to pasture. Send him to Taiwan as "ambassador" or something useless like that to occupy his time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And this clown was once the Prime Minister of Japan....

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Good old Taro.. LOL!!..

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

.

How is he allowed to get away with such a sexist, misogynist, patronizing outburst ! ??????

.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I thought wisdom came with age ...

This article reminded me of something Churchill once said to female politician in 1946.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hilarious!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

[ “She speaks her mind and arranges meetings with the people she needs to meet by herself without the help of diplomats.”

He was impressed that Kamikawa met many of her counterparts one-on-one at the United Nations General Assembly soon after she became foreign minister last September. “No Japanese foreign minister has done something like that before. She is a new star and could inspire new stars to emerge in politics.” ]

You couldn’t say that without a “but”, right, Mr. Taro(?), there’s always a “but”, smdh; Japan needs to get rid of these useless dinosaurs—these oyajis expired” a long time ago.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Has Aso looked into a mirror recently?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

if someone can make an insulting comment about Biden

It wasn't an insulting comment. It said that Biden is in cognitive decline.

It's the truth. And there's nothing insulting about it at all.

I've had elderly relatives who were in clear cognitive decline prior to their passing-away. None of the rest of us in the family were "insulting" them by saying so.

Seems you think that saying something less than positive about a politician you like -- regardless of how demonstrably true it is -- automatically merits the "insulting" label. Pretty typical on your political side of the aisle.

As for your banned comment about Trump (save the childishly coy "I didn't even name him" nonsense; it's undeniably clear who you were talking about):

A post slamming Trump must have been pretty bad, to have gotten bad on THIS particular left-leaning news site.

Just try regularly posting comments on here that consistently reflect a more right-leaning view, and you'll really know what it's like to get your comments frequently removed. But as you're a "progressive," you couldn't possibly know that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A post slamming Trump must have been pretty bad, to have gotten bad on THIS particular left-leaning news site.

to have gotten banned
-4 ( +0 / -4 )

A few things:

First, making a mistake with her name:

It's not good, but he didn't do it on purpose. Incredibly mild compared to the many, many, many gaffes produced by a certain other current world leader we all know.

Second, saying she's "not beautiful":

That's not something I would say, certainly. It certainly wasn't nice. It was definitely irrelevant.

It's not untrue, though, and even Kamikawa-san would probably agree. She's 71 years old. Nobody expects her, at her age, to be seen as what most people would call "beautiful."

Third, and most important, is that Aso-san very liberally and very extensively praised her for her work and for her style. Which is at the end of the day what really counts.

He should be given far more credit for that.

And finally, while I don't like everything Aso-san says, most of the time I actually like his style. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, and he doesn't seem too concerned about what others think of it.

That's not always a good quality to have, but more often than not, it's actually admirable.

I know what I just said isn't going to be popular on here. Let the down-votes commence. I couldn't care less, though, to be honest.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It's not untrue, though, and even Kamikawa-san would probably agree. She's 71 years old. Nobody expects her, at her age, to be seen as what most people would call "beautiful."

I don’t think I agree with your views on politics but I do agree with your comment here. If I were to give Aso the benefit of the doubt, I think the “not beautiful” was his way of adding emphasis to her accomplishments. In contrast, some people are seen more positively than they deserve just because of their looks. She is good. Period.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What does Aso even do on a daily basis?

I mean other than run his mouth and sleep during meetings?

Does he actually have a purpose?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There lived an old man and his old woman. A fairy tale by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Suppose someone praised Aso but said he was ‘not very handsome,’ and called him ‘Ah, so.' How would he respond?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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