A record number of Japanese flocked to a trade show for military paraphernalia and gaming that attracted recruiters for the country’s Self-Defense Forces, the latest sign Japan is shaking off its postwar pacifism.
About 4,000 people, including a growing number of women, attended the March 30 “Victory Show” and related “ASGK Festival” in Tokyo to shop for military uniforms and model weapons, take target practice with air guns and show off their prowess at the World of Tanks video game. That’s the largest crowd since the now-quarterly event started in 1981, when it drew about 80 people, organizers said.
“About 10 times more people come to our booth here than at ordinary venues,” said Nobuaki Sato, one of four SDF members from the northern prefecture of Iwate staffing the recruitment stall. “You can feel the interest.”
The objective: to obtain new recruits. And if to get them you have to resort to anime, you use it. The Okayama prefecture Cooperation Office, in the south west of Japan, has promoted since last July military enlistment with drawings of three manga girls by the artist Huikane Shimada. The experiment has been a success, considering that new recruits have increased by 20%, according to the Sankei Journal this Tuesday.
Japan increases military recruitment with drawings of manga girls
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE