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Japan's Self-Defense Forces miss recruiting target by more than half

Ukraine war, Taiwan tensions may be influencing decision not to enlist

Self-Defense Forces personnel search for a missing SDF helicopter in Japan on April 17.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- Japan's Self-Defense Forces recruited less than half the planned number of fixed-term personnel for fiscal 2022, Nikkei has learned, a shortfall that comes as Tokyo aims to boost the country's capacity to protect itself.

The SDF aimed to enlist 9,245 such personnel for the year ended in March, but recruited only about 4,300. Reaching less than half of the goal was well below the previous low of 72% set in fiscal 2018.

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