Recruiting more women might help, too.
Bright young faces gaze out from a recruitment poster on the thick grey walls of the Defence Ministry in central Tokyo. But in greying Japan, finding enough youngsters to fill the ranks has become, by the ministry’s own admission, “an imminent challenge”. The number of Japanese between 18 and 26 years old, long the prime recruiting pool, peaked at 17m in 1994. It has since fallen to 11m. By 2050 it will sink below 8m. “Young blood is what all militaries need, and it’s exactly what we’re lacking,” says Yamaguchi Noboru, a retired lieutenant-general in the Self-Defence Forces (sdf), as the country calls its army, in deference to its pacifist constitution. – The Economist, 27 June 2020