SDF has police cooperation in investigating applicants

It has been revealed that police, at the request of Self-Defense Forces, have been investigating applicants for SDF members to see whether they are suitable for performing military duties.

The revelation was made on April 23 by Defense Agency Director General Ishiba Shigeru in answer to a question by a Democratic Party of Japan representative at a Lower House committee meeting on personal information protection.

The Self-Defense Forces Law provides that the Defense Agency director general can seek cooperation from the National Police Agency and prefectural police in carrying out certain activities related to recruitment.
Admitting to seeking police cooperation, the agency's personnel and training bureau chief stated that the aim was to ascertain applicants' addresses. He also said that the police have been visiting the applicants to make sure that the addresses on the applicants' list are correct.

Later, the defense chief corrected defense official's earlier explanation, saying that items of investigation by police included making sure that the applicants meet eligibility criteria.

The Self-Defense Forces Law provides that those who have formed or joined a political party or any other organization that advocates the use of force as a means to topple the government are not eligible to be members. (end)

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