Japan’s Ministry of Defense rolled out a nearly 20-minute-long video, ABC of Self-Defense Forces, which is filled with cute cartoon characters – aiming to explain the country’s military to the public.
According to Smash, since the end of the Second World War, Japan hasn’t had a military per se, and has only the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF).
“It’s not that they don’t have an airforce or navy, it’s that they’re not allowed to use it outside their country, as per Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which outlaws them engaging in war to settle international disputes,” the report noted.
Vice News stated that the Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, which was drafted by victorious Americans after World War II, “explicitly renounces war and the use of military force — or even the threat of force — ‘forever.’”
In 1950, however, the withdrawal of American troops from Japan to fight in the Korean War left the island nation without a means of defending itself from foreign invasion. Because of this, the National Police Reserve was put together with surplus US Army equipment. In 1954, the police reserve evolved into the JSDF.
The film, said Smash, is part of the pro-expansion propaganda which is “a way to persuade the nation that they really do need to enlarge the Japan Self-Defense Forces.” The film uses ridiculously cute and cheerful anime animals plus doe-eyed children and children’s voices to convey their message.
The JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan which, in recent years, have been engaged in international peacekeeping operations, Wikipedia said.
Meanwhile, recent tensions, particularly with North Korea, have reignited the debate over the status of the JSDF and its relation to Japanese society.
“New military guidelines, announced in December 2010, will direct the Jieitai away from its Cold War focus on the Soviet Union to a focus on China, especially regarding the dispute over the Senkaku Islands,” Wikipedia added.
Here is the 20-minute video which is imbued with cute cartoon characters: