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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 29 - April 4  > ‘Bayonet techniques’ to be taught to junior high school students
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2017 March 29 - April 4 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

‘Bayonet techniques’ to be taught to junior high school students

April 2, 2017
The Ministry of Education issued a public notice through official gazettes on March 31 that junior high school students will have the option to take “bayonet techniques (jukendo)” as one of the martial arts taught in physical education (PE) classes.

Many teachers and parents are raising concern over the teaching of jukendo which the Self-Defense Forces use in their training and the Abe government’s policy of turning Japan into a war-capable country. They also fear that SDF personnel will be dispatched to schools as jukendo coaches.

Jukendo is a combat technique in which two persons wearing protective gear strike the opponent’s throat or torso with a wooden gun similar in design to a rifle. Jukendo was a combat skill taught to soldiers in the prewar and wartime Japanese Imperial Army. It is now used in the SDF combative measures training program.

Based on the conventional school curriculum guidelines, the Ministry of Education had taken “bayonet techniques” off the list of optional martial arts offered in PE classes.

SDF-turned lawmaker Sato Masahisa of the Liberal Democratic Party criticized this decision during a House of Councilors defense committee meeting on March 9. He demanded that jukendo be included among the PE martial arts options.

The ministry apparently responded favorably to his demand and added “bayonet techniques” to the options under the revised school curriculum guidelines just before the new school year began on April 1.

Sato at the committee meeting said that all Ground, Maritime, and Air SDF personnel are required to learn jukendo.

The Education Ministry’s revised school curriculum guidelines states that the purpose of martial arts in PE classes is to help children learn more about Japanese unique traditions and culture through the study of martial arts.
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