The other week I finally realized one of my goals, to get a ticket to the Japanese Armed Forces Parade at Asaka Base! It’s taken me years and years to find someone with a connection to the base who could spare me a ticket to this hugely popular event. Still, I couldn’t get a ticket to the main event, rather the dress rehearsal held one week before the real event.
The Japanese like the Germans, have a rather ambiguous relationship to their armed forces. Many people would rather pretend they weren’t necessary and very few people know anything about them. There are still plenty of U.S. bases in Japan but thanks to the ongoing wars the American are trying to make the Japanese shoulder a larger part of their own defense.
Most of the pictures we see in western media of Asian military are probably North Korean, but let me assure you that the Japanese military is not anywhere near as fierce, and much much smaller. The total personnel (both civilian and uniformed) of the Japanese Coast Guards, All the Armed Branches of the Japanese Self Defense Forces (the JSDF), the Police, the jails and prisons, all Japanese embassies and consulates abroad including the entire Japanese Foreign Ministry, still employ LESS people than the Japanese Post Office.
Incredible. So, prime minister Kan, if you are reading this, don’t bother raising the VAT, if you’re looking to make cuts, the post office is a great place to start!
But let’s get back to the photos I took. I am a sucker (as you know if you’ve been following this blog) for women in uniform (or anyone in uniform for that matter), and today was a great day to spend watching and admiring hundred of beautiful women! Aren’t they gorgeous? I could fall in love with any of the women in pictures 2, 4, 5, or the beauty in 6!