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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 February 22 - 28  > 3 Hokkaido cities provide 60K citizens’ personal data to SDF recruiters
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2023 February 22 - 28 [SDF]

3 Hokkaido cities provide 60K citizens’ personal data to SDF recruiters

February 28, 2023
Sapporo, Asahikawa, and Obihiro cities in Hokkaido have provided the personal information of nearly 60,000 young residents without their consent to Self-Defense Forces’ recruiters, Akahata learned on February 27 through its inquiry to these cities.

One parent expressed a feeling of unrest and said, “I’m really shocked that the SDF knows my address. It’s scary.” Another parent, who already received a visit by the SDF, complained, “SDF recruiters were very persistent and I got annoyed.”

The three cities began providing their citizens’ personal data to the SDF in May 2022. The governments of Sapporo and Asahikawa cities offered a list of names, addresses, birth dates, and sex of about 36,000 citizens who are either at the age of 18 or at the age of 22, normally the graduation ages for high schools and colleges. The Obihiro City government supplied similar data of more than 23,000 citizens aged between 18 and 32 to the SDF.

The Sapporo city government on its website announced that it offers personal information to the SDF and that those who do not wish to be offered their personal data to the SDF can apply for exclusion from the list compiled by the city. However, as the city’s announcement of this measure is insufficient, only two persons applied for the exclusion.

The Obihiro and Asahikawa city governments took no measures to deliver access to information regarding the option for exclusion.

The Japanese Communist Party in the Obihiro and Asahikawa city assemblies grilled the city authorities about this matter. Following the JCP questioning, the Obihiro city decided to accept exclusion applications from FY 2023, while the Asahikawa city has yet to make any move in this regard.

JCP Hokkaido Prefectural Assemblypersons’ group head Mashita Noriko said that municipal governments giving young residents’ personal information to the SDF is tantamount to supporting the Kishida government’s move to prepare for war, such as securing combat personnel, which is totally unacceptable.

The submission of a list of young residents by municipalities to the SDF was made in accordance with a Cabinet decision on December 18, 2020 which states that the Defense Minister can request local governments to provide their residents’ information to the SDF for the purpose of enhancing the SDF recruitment drives.
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