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LDP ‘bullying’ local entities into assisting on SDF recruitment

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The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is claiming that more than 60 percent of local governments are not cooperating with the Self-Defense Forces in their recruitment efforts.

On Feb. 14, the LDP issued a written directive to all its Diet legislators to check the cooperation of the local governments in their constituencies.

This action echoes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's earlier assertion of the local government's lack of cooperation as one of the reasons for amending Article 9 of the Constitution.

Even though the LDP insists the directive is meant only for ascertaining the situation, this is effectively tantamount to wrongfully pressuring the local governments, as the LDP lawmakers who will be poking around have a say on budgetary appropriations.

In the first place, the prime minister's and his party's assertion is based on an extremely narrow definition of "cooperation."

Granted, it is a fact that only about 36 percent of the local........

© The Asahi Shimbun