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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 March 20 - 26  > 26 SDF members killed themselves after returning from Iraq
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2013 March 20 - 26 [SDF]

26 SDF members killed themselves after returning from Iraq

March 21, 2013
Since returning home from Iraq, 26 members of the Self-Defense Forces have committed suicide. This was revealed by the Defense Ministry in response to questioning by Japanese Communist Party Lower House member Akamine Seiken.

Among the 26 people, 19 belonged to the Ground SDF and the remaining seven were Air SDF members.

From 2004 to 2006, 5,600 GSDF members were sent to Iraq. Their suicide rate is one in 295 people, much higher than that of all GSDF members (1 / 2,551) and nearly 14 times higher than the rate for all Japanese (1 / 4,000).

The ASDF dispatched 3,400 members to Iraq between 2003 and 2008. Their suicide rate is one in 486, which also far exceeds the rate for all ASDF troops (1/3,562).

In April 2008, the Defense Ministry disclosed that by then eight SDF members killed themselves after returning from Iraq. Its latest release of information indicates that the number of suicide by Iraq-deployed SDF members has continued to increase since December 2008, when Japan withdrew its troops from Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense has reportedly released information that 349 U.S. soldiers committed suicide last year, the largest in a given year. As reasons for suicides, PTSD, drug abuse, and financial troubles have been cited.
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