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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 July 9 - 15  > 40 SDF members dispatched overseas commit suicide
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2014 July 9 - 15 [POLITICS]

40 SDF members dispatched overseas commit suicide

July 13, 2014
As of the end of March 2014, 40 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces who were sent abroad committed suicide, Akahata reported on July 13. The suicide rate of dispatched personnel is much higher than the national average.

Between November 2001 and January 2010, the government of the Liberal Democratic Party sent SDF troops to the Indian Ocean for the Afghan War and to Iraq on the pretext of providing “logistic support” to the U.S. military.

During that period of time, a total of 22,530 SDF personnel were dispatched. Of that total, 40 killed themselves later. The suicide rate is one in 562.

As for the whole population, the ratio was one to 4,672 in 2013. The suicide ratio of the SDF personnel sent overseas is more than eight times higher than the average of the general public.

It seems that living with memories of horrifying experiences in battlegrounds drove many of them to suicide. However, the Defense Ministry has consistently maintained that a correlation between their duties and their decision to commit suicide is unclear

The rate of suicide of SDF personnel sent to Iraq is extremely high. The proportion of suicides to all the dispatched troops in the Ground SDF was one to 280, and that in the Air SDF was one to 453.

In Iraq, more than 10 attacks involving rockets and trench mortars took place near the GSDF camp. Meantime, ASDF troops airlifted U.S. soldiers in the midst of ground-to-air missile attacks.

If the administration led by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo presses forward with its plan to turn Japan into a war-fighting nation by undermining the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, it will expose more SDF members to the danger of death as well as greater mental stress.

Past related article:
> 26 SDF members killed themselves after returning from Iraq [March 21, 2013]
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