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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 30 - April 5  > SDF should refrain from resorting to outrageous recruit methods
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2016 March 30 - April 5 [SDF]
column 

SDF should refrain from resorting to outrageous recruit methods

April 4, 2016
Akahata ‘current’ column

It was widely viewed that Self-Defense Forces personnel can earn stable pay, obtain various qualifications, and have a good chance for reemployment in the civilian sector. That was what many SDF members expected before starting their military careers.

In the Cold War era, the SDF prepared for an emergency outbreak in Japan. In the wake of the Gulf Crisis in 1990, its missions drastically changed. With the war laws taking effect at the end of March this year, SDF members will face the risk of “killing and being killed” in overseas missions. The U.S. is waging wars and wants “blood” offerings and not just money from its allied country of Japan.

In FY 2015, at the National Defense Academy of Japan, which educates prospective officers of the SDF, the number of graduates who declined to engage in military service doubled from the previous fiscal year and the number of applicants for lower-ranking SDF personnel who will command troops in the front lines sharply dropped. It is natural for young people to have doubts about risking their lives in order to support U.S. wars lacking rationality and to be engaged in PKO missions in conflict areas.

In the first place, the SDF receives less and less applications as Japan’s birthrate is declining. In addition, the enactment of the controversial war laws has affected military recruitment. The Defense Ministry and SDF will do anything to attract new recruits. It is already reported that municipal governments across the country are being asked by defense authorities for cooperation, and that the SDF resorted to illegal methods to gain access to possible recruitment of high school students. The U.S. provides examples of false recruiting: a recruiting officer tells young people “You will be able to enjoy travel abroad,” and then sends them to the battlefield. It is intolerable to use deceptive language in recruitment activities. Young people should become more sensible and learn to distinguish truth from deception.

Past related article:
> Refusals growing among new graduates of defense academy to become officers [March 20, 2016]
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