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2014 February 26 - March 4 [EDUCATION]

High school students in Tokyo forced to participate in disaster drill with SDF

February 28, 2014
Students of a Tokyo Metropolitan high school early this month were forced to participate in a disaster drill lasting three days and two nights provided in collaboration with the Defense Ministry following the previous drill held in the Ground Self-Defense Force Asaka base last summer.

All 155 second year students at Tokyo Metropolitan Tanashi Technical High School designated as a special school for disaster education were subject to the disaster-preparedness drill conducted at Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park gymnasium.

Students of the designated school take part in this drill with the SDF every year after former Governor Inose Naoki gave shape to the proposal of his predecessor Ishihara Shintaro who had said, “Young people nowadays have no motivation. Like South Korea, after graduating from high school, they should be required to enter the military, firefighters, or the police.”

Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblyperson Satoyoshi Yumi of the Japanese Communist Party observed the disaster drill at Yumenoshima Park.

She said that the gymnasium where the opening ceremony and a lecture by an SDF official took place was designated as off limits, and news gathering activities regarding the lecture were prohibited. Citizens outside could not see inside because all the glass doors of the venue were covered.

A Maritime SDF Lieutenant gave the opening speech. This person was in charge of practical training as well. A GSDF Second Lieutenant in his lecture used his time to praise SDF activities such as the SDF-U.S. disaster rescue mission “Operation Tomodachi” following the 2011 earthquake in Fukushima Prefecture.

The permits identifying SDF vehicles used in the drill indicate that they are for on-the-job recruiting and publicity training, the JCP assemblyperson pointed out.

In response to an Akahata inquiry, the Defense Ministry said the SDF officials in the drill were just PR personnel and had nothing to do with recruiting. A GSDF recruiter, however, admitted that they think it is necessary to keep in touch with schools and municipalities on a daily basis to find recruits and secure the needed human resources.

Past related article:
> Tokyo gov’t sends high school students to SDF camp for ‘emergency drill’ [July 25 & 26, 2013]
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