By Masuo Kamiyama
People's Pick contributor
April 21, 2007
"To be frank, the biggest annoyance that servicemen face is related in
some manner to their not having a girlfriend."
Speaking is a former officer of the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces. He
"A lot of the soldiers are good guys, but because of the nature of their
work, they have no chance to meet women."
The sad fact, opines Weekly Playboy (April 30), is that for members of
Japan's armed forces, romance is a constant struggle to avoid falling
into a variety of booby traps. As a result, the only women with whom
they tend to form serious relationships are the daughters of
sympathizers of the military, or those who have friends or family
members in the service -- of whom there are not that many to begin with.
This is not to say that there aren't other women out there who are
interested in forming relationships with members of the JSDF. But their
motives for befriending a lonely serviceman may be a problem. Especially
if they happen to be nationals of a certain large Asian country that has
begun to increasingly assert its presence in the East China Sea.
Which brings us to a 33-year old member of the Maritime Self Defense
Forces, who, as the media recently reported, leaked highly sensitive
data on advanced Aegis cruisers. According to a joint investigation with
the Naval Investigation unit and the Kanagawa prefectural police, the
man's Chinese wife was found involved in the shenanigans, and charged,
not with espionage, but with violating the immigration law!
"The Defense Ministry has been trying to play down the affair," says
Shinsaku Yanai, a former military intelligence officer. "There was a big
ruckus years ago when a member of the military got nabbed passing
secrets to the former Soviet embassy, and since then the authorities try
to play it down. The reason in this case is that they will really be
discredited in the eyes of the Americans, which supplies Japan with the
Aegis technology. Also, Japan is in the process of trying to mend fences
"When military factors are weighed against political expediency, you can
count on people to seek a 'political solution.'"
The Aegis incident is just one of a number of recent cases where
Japanese servicemen have been lured into so-called "honey traps" by
Chinese women. In other countries these usually involve extorting them
by use of compromising photos and, in extreme cases, drugging and
abductions. But the simplest way, which has proved surprisingly
effective, is just to treat the grateful servicemen with affection.
By this method, extracting useful information from service members,
Weekly Playboy remarks, has proved as easy as twisting the proverbial
"The Public Security Intelligence Agency has become aware of an
(unnamed) organization that is placing Chinese females into areas close
to Maritime Self Defense Forces bases," says military affairs analyst
Toya Busujima. "I suppose that incidents like the one that recently
occurred will continue."
"Just the other day, a noncommissioned officer at the GSDF base at
Shimoshizu, Chiba Prefecture, allowed data on the layout of an arms
depot at the camp in Matsudo to be leaked from his personal computer
through a virus he downloaded from an adult Web site," says Busujima.
Soldiers, it seems, have little social life. On their days off, they
just linger in their rooms at the barracks, seldom emerging to date
women, and instead whiling away their free time perusing adult sites.
The same situation appears to apply to young policemen as well.
"Not popular? Oh come on!" exclaims a 35-year-old police inspector. "Our
guys don't even know how to talk to a girl. And they're completely
intimidated by the type of girls they meet in their work."
Why is this problematic? Weekly Playboy points out that one of the
things science geeks or researchers and cops have in common is access to
"important information" -- which is why they are targeted by wily
foreign females. And should things keep going the way they are, Japan
risks becoming a land of the lost due to the "popularity gap" that keeps
such males from forming relationships with their own countrywomen.
Perhaps the problem is simply one of image.
"In America, Hollywood depicts soldiers as gallant and dashing figures,"
says military affairs journalist Shinichi Kiyotani. "Can't Japan do the
same thing in films and TV dramas that'll burnish the image of the JSDF
and servicemen and cause girls to get the hots for men in uniform?"
So come on then, o women of Japan: Your country, Nippon, is calling you,
to fulfill your duty and befriend one of the nation's valiant defenders
-- a dashing young soldier, sailor or airman. How about it?
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