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SDF launches PR campaign to soften image

33 Comments
By Miwa Suzuki

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33 Comments
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So, there is a publicity campaign to give gullible Japanese people the idea that their soldiers are warm, fuzzy, loveable creatures.

It doesn't change what they do.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Went to 1st Division open day on the weekend, it was full on complete with big headed mascots. I understand why people join, I understand it's an institution that can push people to their limits. But the current government are asking too much of the force. It's equipment is outdated the training obsolete, to be a viable defense force a huge overhaul is needed. Sacrifice for your country is one thing making the aggressor die for theirs is the goal.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

not to be objective, but I never thought SDF actually had a tough image. although some see those who joined the SDF are gun crazy, most thought that they only joined because they couldn't find a decent job or those that came from rural areas. which is ironic because Japan SDF is known to be highly educated, well trained and hard working.

What the SDF should do is to create an image that they are strong and dedicated to protect Japan, the people and it's territories. Project it's capabilities.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Was this what I watched on the news yesterday? A bunch of camo clad guys marching with their arms high up in the air. Reminded me of some other Asian nations who like to show off their military strength.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Self Defense Force... is actually an "extension" of the police force, as ridiculous as it seems. It was the only loophole that they can find to own military while at the same time keeping the Article 9, which prohibits the owning of any land, sea and air military. Of course many in Japan, especially the left wingers, don't see any contradiction in this.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

My time with the USAF while stationed in Misawa I got the pleasure of working with the SDF in numerous exercises and every SDF member I met were the most respectful, intelligent, and dedicated serviceman/woman I'd ever come across, I talk to some even today, some 3 years after I'd left. Therefor I'm happy to see they're getting more positive PR.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“Japan hopes that its military becomes respectable as a career choice to help with the recruitment of educated and dedicated soldiers, sailors and airmen—no mean feat in a rapidly-aging society.”

I’d concur. Transforming JSDF into a career choice is easier said than done in Japan’s society based on my observation (majority of the qualified young Japanese men and women shun the service of the armed forces.)

I think that JSDF should certainly go ahead with its PR campaign, it's worth to give it a try, but the long term results may not be as sanguine as it hopes.

For people who are not aware of: According to data released by Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research last Friday, by 2035 40% of Japanese households is expected to be headed by people aged 65 or older. This unpicking trend of grey population distribution will inevitably change the equation how Japan’s public and private sectors including JSDF conduct their plannings.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You don't need to love your military, you just need to be able to trust it to do what's right when the time comes. That goes for the decision makers as well.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Dont worry Japan, Gahna will defend you against China.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You know what would be the ultimate PR for SDF, and eventually the "remilitarization" of Japan? Actually atoning for its past... and resolving the problem completely. The reason why the Germans don't have the same allergic reaction at the mere mention of military as especially the Japanese left, is that they have actually properly digested, atoned for their past and resolved the issue almost entirely. The Japanese will continue to have a guilty conscious for their past, as long as the problem remains unresolved. The Japanese will continue to be skeptical of their military and even its authority.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Good to hear.

The JSDF needs to take a greater role in Japan's security, and gaining acceptance from the Japanese public is the first step.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

SDF launches PR campaign to soften image

They don't have to worry about not looking soft enough.

Japan’s most popular Twitter hashtag in 2013 was #KanColle, a reference to an online game in which anthropomorphised warships compete to out-pretty each other as young girls.

I facepalmed while reading that.

I don't know why any military would want to look infantile and stupid. Unless they want more infantile and stupid people to join.

If they want more members, do like most other countries do- make it so the kids who have no other option can join. When I was in the military, more of the other guys were kids who didn't graduate high school, or had really no place else to go other than prison.

Who would you rather have defending you? A guy who joined up because he liked the dumb cartoon character used in the PR campaign?; or the chinpira one step away from jail who has been in fights since kindergarten?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Join the SDF and get a free pink skirt and lolly pop.**

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Don't need to love it, fear is sufficient enough respect for the military.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They are hard men/ woman ..no pink t-Shirts. They are doing the best they can with the equipment they have. They have been searching for bodies after the Tsunami, they are asked to do the most disgusting jobs, with no lolly pop. These young men and women are a dedicated group. This soft sell is just for general consumption, it's much harder then that once you are in. But very rewarding.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

SDF had been doing hazzard relief for as long as I can remember starting from the Ise harbor typhoon. Sometime I believe they are more experienced in shoveling mud then shooting guns.

The reason why 3/11 drew attention to SDF was the sheer number of personnel that was invovled in that operation. An astounding amount of roughly 70~80% of the entire SDF force participated one way or the other including men and women who themselves were victim of that natural disater many who did not know what had happened to their own loved ones at the time.

Respect is the only word I can come up to those men and women who places their live on the line without hessitation in the name of duty.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Thought their image is too soft. Who's afraid of the big bad Japanese military? All their symbols are cute cartoon girls.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They should toughen up not soften down. Those allied men who fought through North Africa, Italy , Europe and the pacifc in the 1940s were tough this SDF are no where near those old school soldiers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How much softer an image could the SDF possibly project? It's a self-defense force. It's sole extra-Japan adventure over the past 70 years involved building schools, libraries, and water purification systems in Iraq. No combat whatsoever. There's nothing harsh about the SDF's image whatsoever, even domestically

With that said, there's nothing inherently wrong with a military, particularly in the face of world realities like Russia annexing Crimea. But the Japanese SDF is not some faceless band of killers -- contrary to some posters' more cynical musings.

The SDF -- as is any military force -- is made up of friends, neighbors, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives, all making a profoundly solemn and admirable commitment to defend all of the above in the event someone comes to do them harm. This is no small thing. Standing up and declaring one's willingness to die -- and yes, in some cases kill -- to protect your loved ones is no small thing.

I respect the SDF and the real people who make it work. I wish them the best of luck in this new endeavor.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is about the image, not the personnel.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can't wait for Marine SDF in the Great Detective Conan this Friday with AEGIS ship 'Hotaka' in one of the main roles ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hmm...

Japan can't be trusted because it wants to rearm and take over Asia again, right?

So we should all be worried?

BUT, the SDF is absolutely hopeless according to the armchair warriors that infest JT. So no need to worry.

To quote younger generations, the derp is strong in this thread.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Probie, that's fine if the service can straighten them out, but I wouldn't be super comfortable with those who joined because their only other choice was prison.

And yes I have served..

From what I know Japan's SDF is very capable, professional and respected and in the news lately here in Perth in the search for MH 370.

.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@AusPaul: USAF is very professional, too. It is not easy to join USAF, I heard. Any case, military is not extension of jail. SDF image change will enable youngsters to join SDF to get trained than private corporations that discriminate female employees. SDF has to show it is not back up force of Police Force. (KeibiTai time). Defending Japan with modern equipment. It has to get brainy youngsters to join it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where are the old school soldiers? Probably dead or in prison, paying for their war crimes. Or maybe they are still hanging out with comfort women. Old school. No thanks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Austpaul

Probie, that's fine if the service can straighten them out, but I wouldn't be super comfortable with those who joined because their only other choice was prison.

Oh, it does.It doesn't work with everyone, as you know. But, I'd still feel better fighting alongside someone who knows how to fight, rather than a guy who passed a test and only did that because he liked the stupid girl in a robot tank cartoon or something.

The JSDF should just be a specialized force, dealing with coastal protection and disaster relief. That is all they need to be. They don't need Marines, they certainly don't need Rangers (don't get me started on their "Rangers", that are a disgrace to the name) . They all have ZERO combat experience, and would be chewed up like a doggie toy if they ever got into a real firefight. Let them do what they do well- disaster relief, and leave it at that. Anything else is a waste of money.

@toshiko

Any case, military is not extension of jail.

Nobody said it was.

SDF image change will enable youngsters to join SDF to get trained than private corporations that discriminate female employees.

????

SDF has to show it is not back up force of Police Force. (KeibiTai time).

Just about every country does that.

Defending Japan with modern equipment. It has to get brainy youngsters to join it.

Well, there you have the real problem, don't you. I don't think that being able to pass a test means that you are "brainy". It just means that you're good at taking tests. Some really smart people suck at tests, and some average/below average people do better than they should.

You don't need a degree in computer science to fly a drone, for example. If anything, being good at playing video games makes you more qualified than that, and I don't see any "Playing Video Games Doctorate Course" at Cambridge or MIT.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

did not write test. I did not write pass a test, either. I did not mention computer science, I did not write Video game , either,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

did not write test. I did not write pass a test, either.

I know, you never mentioned anything about getting rid of the current JSDF entry requirement test either. So, you accept that they would still have to pass that test= my point.

I did not mention computer science, I did not write Video game , either,

I never said you did.

I used the computer science/video game thing as an example. Since the stereotype of "brainy youngsters" isn't someone sitting at home playing video games. So, my point there was that "brainy youngsters" isn't necessarily what the JSDF need.

If they are going to change the constitution, they need to have a military that isn't laughed off the battlefield. Which is what they would have if they continue as they are now.

Even though it would never happen, South Korea or China would DESTROY them in a 1-on-1 battle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well I don't really think that SDF is that bad, and technology wise, China is at least a few decades behind. What they lack in is experience, which is why they should be doing PKOs and joint military operations with the other nations.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Probe: In IBM 360 era, Universities in USA began to have Computer Science Majors (Not in Japan yet) instead of Data Processing. Nippon Electronic Tlephone top went to USA to learn about inside of computer and returned, changed name to Sony. The university in Orange County I was sent had Computer Science major. It is different now, Univ titles as Information Technology, Information Science. etc when my grandchildren were getting Univ Catalogs in East. Many schools have online majors. About Video Games, if one of their creation is published by some companies, they make tons of Royalty income so they wouldn't go to SDF, Used to be Computer Science began with how to program to enable students to become programmers. Information Science, etc train internal hardware adjustment, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@toshiko

@Probe: In IBM 360 era, Universities in USA began to have Computer Science Majors (Not in Japan yet) instead of Data Processing. Nippon Electronic Tlephone top went to USA to learn about inside of computer and returned, changed name to Sony.

Well, Sony's original name was actually 東京通信工業.

The university in Orange County I was sent had Computer Science major. It is different now, Univ titles as Information Technology, Information Science. etc when my grandchildren were getting Univ Catalogs in East. Many schools have online majors.

That is wonderful to hear.

About Video Games, if one of their creation is published by some companies, they make tons of Royalty income so they wouldn't go to SDF, Used to be Computer Science began with how to program to enable students to become programmers. Information Science, etc train internal hardware adjustment, too.

I never said anything about programmers joining the JSDF. You need to brush up on your comprehension skills.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Probie: I never said anything about programmers joining the JSDF. You need to brush up on your comprehension skills.

You are the one who wrote following "You don't need a degree in computer science to fly a drone, for example. If anything, being good at playing video games makes you more qualified than that, and I don't see any "Playing Video Games Doctorate Course" at Cambridge or MIT."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@toshiko

@Probie: I never said anything about programmers joining the JSDF. You need to brush up on your comprehension skills.

You are the one who wrote following "You don't need a degree in computer science to fly a drone, for example. If anything, being good at playing video games makes you more qualified than that, and I don't see any "Playing Video Games Doctorate Course" at Cambridge or MIT."

Yeah, I did. And where did I mention computer programmers?

That zooming sound that just flew over was my point drone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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