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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 May 27 - June 2  > 54 SDF members commit suicide after returning from abroad
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2015 May 27 - June 2 [SDF]

54 SDF members commit suicide after returning from abroad

May 28, 2015
In Diet deliberation on the government-proposed war legislation on May 27, a Defense Ministry official told Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo that as of the end of March 2015, 54 members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces committed suicide after returning from missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shii demanded that the war-related bills be scrapped, condemning them for exposing SDF members’ lives to dire danger.

According to the data released by the ministry, 25 SDF members who had been dispatched to the Indian Ocean as part of operations in Afghanistan took their own lives after they came back to Japan. The number of suicides by SDF personnel returning from Iraq stood at 29.

The suicide rate of SDF members who experienced being sent abroad is up to 18 times higher than that of the Japanese population, and up to 11 times higher than that of SDF personnel overall.

When Akahata reported on the suicide issue of returning SDF members in July 2014, the Defense Ministry stated that it did not know the exact number of those who killed themselves after returning from the Indian Ocean because it had “no relevant materials”.

The actual number of suicides may be much more than this as the ministry’s survey only covers the period since 2004.

Past related article:
> 40 SDF members dispatched overseas commit suicide [July 13, 2014]
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