19 April 2017

News Story: Defense Ministry to abolish gender restrictions in almost all SDF units

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada
(Image: Wiki Commons)
The Defense Ministry is set to lift restrictions on the placement of female personnel within the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) starting this month, opening the way for women to be involved in almost all SDF units, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada announced on April 18.

The move comes as part of efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration to promote women's empowerment and gender equality, and is aimed at doubling the ratio of female personnel within the SDF from a mere 6.1 percent as of the end of 2016.

Since 1993, the Defense Ministry has promoted the lifting of gender-based placement restrictions in stages, abolishing all such bans within the Air Self-Defense Force by 2015, including those for fighter jet pilots. For the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), the ministry eliminated gender restrictions for all units in 2016, except for submarines.

The latest rule change opens up posts in the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF)'s infantry company, tank company and reconnaissance unit available for women.

Read the full story at The Mainichi