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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Japan’s TV stations keen to do PR for SDF
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2014 April 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

Japan’s TV stations keen to do PR for SDF

April 16, 2014
As the Abe government is stepping up moves to authorize the state to exercise the right to collective self-defense, Japan’s major TV networks are providing programs one after another which openly support the Self-Defense Forces.

Tokyo Broadcasting System Television (TBS) aired on April 8 a special program over four hours in which SDF members stationed in Okinawa participated in a marriage matchmaking event at the base. This event was attended by 120 people, including private citizens. The event also introduced a video message from a senior vice minister of defense to “encourage” the participants. This program was a joint production by the TV station and the Defense Ministry.

During the matchmaking party, some women said, “I have respect and longing for SDF members,” “You (SDF members) defend our nation, and I defend my home.”

TBS broadcast last year a drama series titled “Flying PR Office” through close collaboration with the Air SDF.

Meanwhile, Fuji Television Network and Nippon Television Network reported in detail on a “spouse hunting party” the SDF held in March in Kanagawa’s Yokosuka City.

The public broadcaster, NHK, on April 8 introduced a female member of a musical band of the Maritime SDF as a “singer” in its popular song program and had her sing before the audience. NHK had already featured this woman three times in its programs between September and December last year.

There has been widespread criticism among the general public that the SDF’s existence violates Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which renounces war potential for good. If Japan is permitted to use the right to collective self-defense as Prime Minister Abe Shinzo claims, these servicepersons could kill foreigners abroad and be killed by them.

It is completely unforgivable for TV stations to play a role in having the public identify with the SDF while disregarding its role as military forces.

Past related article:
> SDF makes use of TV shows to improve its public image [August 29, 2013]
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