Today’s morning news reported that a minister apologized that he had made an inappropriate comment in an official state.
But in this case, the situation is a little complicated.
As reported, he said
“There are baka-na people, who didn’t escape from Tsunami, as an old friend of mine (and he was killed)”
No doubt the word Tsunami had indicated the disastrous Tsunami in March 11th.
The word baka in Japanese – a direct meaning of it is fool or stupid.
Therefore, his word above was taken, especially by the opposing parties, that he had insulted all the people who didn’t escape from the Tsunami at that time, as if they had been baka.
It is true, that he had been inconsiderate to use such informal – and much complicated – word in an official state.
Usage of words is a fatal demand for a statesman, because politics should be supported by all the people in the nation, who has various types of feeling.
In that sense, as a statesman he should be blamed.
But I think he had not intended to insult no one.
The word baka has so many meanings.
If one tells so to his/her lover gently, it is an expression of love.
“They have developed such a small device! Baka, they are!”
It one tells so cheerfully, the word means “Maniac”, that is, admiration.
And if one tells about his late family or friend “He was baka to die,” mostly it is an expression of sadness, that he has not wanted that person to die.
So the minister in question might have liked to say he had wished his lost friend to escape, and regret that he did not do and was killed.
However, he should not have told his personal experience and emotion in such a delicate matter in an official state, I say again, because the word baka still often can be used obviously to insult or hurt someone.