Self-Defense Forces facing backlash over recruitment poster.
A Self-Defense Forces recruitment office in Shiga Prefecture has caused a stir by releasing a poster that featured female anime characters wearing super-short skirts, which exposed their underwear. Some describe the poster as a form of sexual harrasment.
The recruitment poster was created by the SDF’s Shiga Provincial Cooperation Office in Otsu, it featured three characters from the Aerial Combat anime called “Strike Witches!” Two of the three characters appeared to be wearing blue underwear under their costumes. Following its release in Autumn, the image has been used on the office’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as at some of their offices across the Prefecture.
In a telephone interview on Friday with The Japan time, a spokesperson for the office rejected the claim that the image constituted sexual harassment saying “We only used the anime work of the Kadokawa Corp.” Also asking why the office decided to use the characters from “Strike Witches,” the spokesperson said “We thought the content would appeal to young people. We didn’t insist on using female characters.“
One person posted online at Yahoo! Japan News suggested that they thought “The images of the SDF working hard in disaster reconstruction was cooler,” while another posted “they should have used an image featuring uniforms that are befitting of SDF members.“
The Kyoto Shimbun reported it on Thursday, quoting an official from the office saying that the characters are wearing under their costumes are “mean’t to be trousers, not underwear, thus we believe it is appropriate.“
The Self-Defense Forces were already facing an increasingly severe shortage of personnel amid the shrinking pool of young applicants, and a robust economy. In October, to secure more personnel the Defense Ministry increased the age ceiling for applicants to 32 instead of 26.
Source: The Japan Times