Panel Proposes SDF Hire Fixed-Term Skilled Personnel

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The main gate of the Defense Ministry is seen in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — A panel of experts on Wednesday proposed that the Self-Defense Forces establish a fixed-term employment system to hire people with high levels of specialized skills.

“It’s necessary for the SDF to utilize people who acquired high-level skills in the private sector,” the panel said in a report, given that its domains of operations have been expanding to include space and cyberspace.

Japanese government agencies employ people with high skills for a fixed-term of up to five years with higher pay. The panel said the SDF should introduce a similar system.

Established by the Defense Ministry in February, the panel also called for improving employment conditions and the working environment for SDF personnel.

Salaries for SDF personnel do not change even in case of an emergency. The panel said discussions should start on how SDF personnel should be paid for an emergency.

The panel also pointed to the need to improve employment conditions for SDF personnel hired for fixed terms of two to three years.

The amount of lump-sum money fixed-term personnel get after finishing the services should be raised, and qualifications that they can get during the services should be updated, the panel said. It also said that there needs to be more support for their entrance into a university.

On the working and living environment for SDF personnel, the panel said it is necessary to ensure that harassment is not tolerated at all. The rule demanding SDF personnel have short and black hair in principle is unreasonable and should be changed or abolished, it said.