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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 16 - 22  > Over 60% of municipal governments provide citizens’ personal data without their consent to SDF
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2023 August 16 - 22 [SDF]

Over 60% of municipal governments provide citizens’ personal data without their consent to SDF

August 16, 2023
In FY 2022, the number of municipalities which provided their young citizens’ personal data to Self-Defense Forces’ recruiters reached 1,068, exceeding 60% of all municipalities in Japan for the first time. This was shown in the Defense Ministry’s materials submitted upon request to Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Yamazoe Taku, Akahata reported on August 16.

The 1,068 municipal governments, based on their basic resident registers, offered SDF recruiters in paper or digital forms a list of names, birth dates, addresses, and sex of 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 provided list is to be used for SDF recruiting activities, such as sending a recruitment flyer to prospective recruits.

According to the Defense Ministry’s materials, among the 1,747 local governments, those who supplied their young citizens’ personal data to the SDF in FY 2022 increased to 1,068, up 10% from the previous year.

As a primary trigger for this trend, Akahata cited the then Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s remark at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s annual convention in February 2019 that more than 60% of prefectural governments are reluctant to cooperate with the SDF’s recruitment efforts. In December 2020, a Cabinet decision made it possible for local government heads to submit a copy of their citizens’ personal data to the SDF.

Japan Peace Committee Secretary General Chisaka Jun pointed out, “Local governments’ act of submitting a list of young residents without their consent for the purpose of helping SDF’s recruiting activities ignores these residents’ basic human rights guaranteed under the Constitution. It is necessary to voice opposition to such an unconstitutional tactic.”

Past related article:
> 3 Hokkaido cities provide 60K citizens’ personal data to SDF recruiters [February 28, 2023]
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