Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 20 - 26  > Local public sector union: Forcing municipalities to help with SDF recruiting activities unacceptable
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 February 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Local public sector union: Forcing municipalities to help with SDF recruiting activities unacceptable

February 22, 2019

The Japan Federation of Prefectural and Municipal Workers’ Unions (Jichiroren) on February 20 issued a comment in protest against the Abe government’s move to force local governments to cooperate with the recruiting activities of the Self-Defense Forces, expressing fresh determination to protect the pacifist Article 9 of the Constitution.

The comment in the name of Jichiroren Secretary General Nakagawa Satoru refers to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s recent remark that many local governments have an uncooperative attitude toward the SDF in their recruitment efforts and that this situation should be corrected by changing Article 9 to stipulate explicitly the legal status of the SDF.

Jichiroren in its comment pointed out that although the SDF can ask municipal governments for cooperation in recruiting activities under the SDF Act, local governments have no obligation to accept the request and said that the Defense Ministry has acknowledged this point. The union insisted that it is unacceptable for PM Abe to imply that municipalities should fully cooperate with the SDF, which constitutes a denial of local autonomy.

The Jichiroren statement stresses that one of major focuses on Abe’s constitutional revision attempt is to have municipalities work to create a war-fighting Japan and have them help mobilize young people for war. It cites a growing public opposition to Kyoto City government’s plan to provide residents’ personal data to the SDF in the form of address labels. Given that municipal officials are obliged to uphold the Constitution, the statement claims, they should not follow the central government’s demand.

The comment states that Jichiroren will work to block Abe’s constitutional revision push, bearing in mind the bitter fact that in the prewar and wartime Japan, municipal workers were forced to play a role in sending young people to fight under orders from the wartime regime.


A group of Kyoto citizens on February 21 submitted to the Kyoto City government a petition urging the city government to refrain from handing citizens’ personal information to the SDF. The petition was signed by 3,500 people. The city government plans to provide local SDF recruiters with the names and address of 28,000 residents who are either 18-year-old or who are 22-year-old in the form of address labels.

Past related articles:
> Abe’s Article 9 revision attempt aimed at forcing local gov’ts to provide young residents’ names to SDF: Shii [February 15, 2019]
> LDP to pressure local governments to cooperate in SDF recruiting activities [February 15, 2019]

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved