Japan's Financial Services Minister Taro Aso has criticized working-level officials who helped compile a report that says pensioners will need large savings to make ends meet.
Aso told reporters on Friday that officials of the Financial Services Agency should have asked about expressions in the report when an advisory panel was drafting it.
The report says an elderly couple that relies mainly on pensions would need about 20 million yen, or 190,000 dollars, to make up for shortfalls in their spending over a 30-year period.
At a Lower House Financial Affairs Committee meeting the same day, Aso again indicated that he will not accept the report or reflect its contents in government policy.
He said the report caused serious public concern and misunderstanding that must be eradicated. He expressed deep regret and promised to deal with them appropriately.
Aso, who's 78 years old, was asked whether he receives a public pension.
He said he didn't know, since he let his secretary decide a long time ago whether to accept or defer payments.
Asked whether he has ever wondered if he could live on a pension, Aso said he has never worried about his retirement living expenses.