Random facts about the Japanese Self-Defence Force (Jieitai)

Random facts about the Jieitai (Japanese self defence force)
Although students at the National Defence Academy get a full university degree, pay no fees, and get a living stipend, they are under no obligation to join the SDF once they graduate

A clause in the law governing the SDF allows for their use in keeping domestic order, e.g. the suppression of riots

A new recruit in the GSDF receives over 30 items they must use, including underwear and boots that may have been passed on from someone else

Some companies send their new recruits to the local Jieitai base to “prepare themselves for the challenges of a professional life in a company through the physical experience of following strict rules and discipline” (quoted in Uneasy Warriors, pg 192)

Although it is against the law to do so, many local councils ban jieitai recruiters from schools in their area
Many Self-Defence Force bases have military museums in them

Like Japanese companies, the Self Defence force has a rule that allows female soldiers to take time off for their period

The JSDF has special uniforms for pregnant military staff

The SDF has approx 1000 people working on PR

There are no particular restrictions on haircuts, although tatoos, dyed hair, full beards and body piercing are not allowed

Tennis(!), baseball, jogging and golf are the most popular sporting activities, -body building is not popular


  1. Michael said,

    May 24, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Their biggest activity seems to be building snow sculptures in Hokkaido. Americans get paid to defend Japan. Japanese forces build snowmen; what else are they going to do.

  2. Metthinda Desilva said,

    May 30, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    One question, can foreigners/gaijins join the jsdf?

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