Japan’s defence minister ‘not dependable’ because she’s a woman, says armed forces flyer

Officials say no complaints were registered about the wording of the promotional material

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 November, 2016, 2:35pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 November, 2016, 9:56pm

A local public relations branch office for Japan’s Self-Defence Forces has recalled recruitment flyers that said Defence Minister Tomomi Inada is “not dependable enough”, while highlighting her gender, an SDF provincial office said Friday.

The A4-size advertisement, made by a male SDF member who works at the office in Odate, Akita Prefecture, said, “Defence Minister Inada is not dependable enough, but we want a dependable person like you to challenge yourself (to a career in the SDF)!” Just after the minister’s name, the word “woman” was inserted in parenthesis.

The SDF member, whose rank and age have not been disclosed, printed 130 of the flyers in late October. The flyers were placed at nine locations in Odate, according to the SDF’s Akita Provincial Cooperation Office.

No protest against the wording in question has been received, according to the provincial cooperation office that recalled the flyers.

SDF members are required to report to their superiors when producing flyers, but this did not happen in this case.

“Such a thing should not happen [again],” an official at the provincial office said. The office is questioning the SDF member on the issue.

The SDF has provincial cooperation offices nationwide that engage in recruitment and publicity activities.