Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Self-Defense Forces is considering adding training units in response to an increasing number of female officers, informed sources told Jiji Press Saturday.
The SDF finds it difficult for existing training units alone to accept female recruits that are increasing in number in recent years.
The Maritime SDF is considering setting up a training unit for female recruits at its Sasebo base in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in fiscal 2019-21.
The MSDF has requested 670 million yen in funding for fiscal 2019, which starts next April, to build a women-only barrack there.
Currently, the MSDF provides recruit training at four bases nationwide. For female recruits, training is provided only at the Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.
The Yokosuka training unit has accepted up to some 120 female recruits a year until fiscal 2016. The number surged to 219 in fiscal 2018 and is expected to reach 240 the following year, reaching its limit.
Once the barrack is completed in fiscal 2022, the Yokosuka unit aims to accept 200 female recruits a year.
The Air SDF is considering offering training for female recruits at the Kumagaya base in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
The ASDF currently trains recruits at Kumagaya and the Hofu Minami base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, but training for female recruits is limited to Hofu Minami.
At the Ground SDF, female recruits are initially trained at five locations, mainly at Camp Asaka in Saitama Prefecture, for three months and sent to other camps for further training.
The GSDF is considering forming a new training unit for female recruits to reduce the burden on Camp Asaka.
SDF recruits receive three to six months of training. Providing such training to men and women separately is considered effective because it is closely linked to daily lives.