The Self-Defense Forces have closed their museum and PR center in Shibuya. The facility was opened in July 2008 to try to increase the appeal of the SDF to young people and expedite recruiting.
The center, named "Jieikan," provided information on the SDF to the public, and visitors, including children, were able to have their photo taken in SDF uniforms and camouflage fatigues.
A spokesman for the SDF said: “When we first opened the center, we were expecting mainly teenagers, but we attracted a lot of people in their 20s and 30s, some of whom came in with their parents."
Among the most popular exhibits were the uniforms of the three branches of the SDF, as well as scale models of the Air Self-Defense Forces' Aegis 1 and Ground Self-Defense Forces' utility vehicle. Posters, photo panels of combat aircraft and videos drew a lot of visitors, too, said the spokesman.
He added: "Although we couldn’t achieve the number of recruits we hoped for, we heard that some people did enlist after they visited us. We hope to do some other kind of PR activity like this again in the future."
Around 10,000 people visited the center, he said.© Japan Today