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SDF recruiting age limit to rise to 32

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Defense Ministry will raise the age limit of applicants for Self-Defense Forces members and cadets from the current 26 to 32 as early as October, ministry officials said Tuesday.

To conduct the first age hike in 28 years, the ministry will amend an ordinance on rules to implement the SDF law after seeking public comment.

The ministry had initially planned to push up the age ceiling in fiscal 2019 starting next April. But consent from the Air, Ground and Maritime SDF was obtained more smoothly than expected, the officials said.

The number of applicants for SDF members and cadets has been declining on the back of the falling birthrate and economic recovery in the country.

The ministry hopes that the easier age requirement will help the SDF secure capable personnel, the officials added.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told a press conference Tuesday that the environment for the SDF’s recruitment “is growing even more severe.”Speech

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