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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 June 12 - 18  > SDF may set sights on children in needy families as future recruitment targets
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2024 June 12 - 18 [SDF]

SDF may set sights on children in needy families as future recruitment targets

June 12, 2024

It was learned on June 11 that the Sapporo Provincial Cooperation Office of the Self-Defense Forces early this year took children, who use a community-run cafeteria in Sapporo City in Hokkaido, on a tour of a Ground SDF garrison and its attached “tank museum” in Chitose City in the prefecture.

The Defense Ministry admitted to this fact in response to an inquiry from Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Kami Tomoko.

Children’s cafeterias are mostly run by local community volunteers or local municipalities, providing free or inexpensive, nutritious meals to children from needy families or to children who have to eat alone. These cafeterias are accessible to children on their own.

The Defense Ministry explained, “The purpose of the event was to let children know about the SDF and its personnel.”

Kami, however, countered that the purpose of having elementary school children visit the tank museum was to get them interested in weapons and battles by looking at the exhibits. She stated, “The SDF is expanding its publicity activities to children possibly in order to secure future members.”

She said, “It is inappropriate to lay the groundwork to ‘recruit’ future members at children’s cafeterias which not only address the alleviation of child poverty but also provide dietary education to children. The SDF should stop such a PR activity immediately.”

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