Presenter:HALL, Jeffrey （Research Associate, WIAPS）
Presentation Theme:The Japan Self-Defense Forces’ Engagement with Popular Culture: Seeking Support for a “Normal” Military
In recent years, disaster relief operations have helped push public support for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) to its highest levels in the postwar period. However, Japanese society remains weary of militarism, and polls show considerable opposition to conservative politicians’ goals of revising the Constitution and transforming the JSDF into a “normal” military, free from legal restrictions on its use of force. This talk explores one method that authorities have used to influence Japanese society’s views on war and the Self-Defense Forces:
popular culture. The JSDF has been actively involved with producers of animation and film, cooperating with the production of and helping promote works that portray the JSDF in a positive light. Examining several recent works that used in JSDF recruitment events and posters, this short talk argues that the JSDF has carefully selected films and animation that depict military weaponry and the use of force in a positive light, while avoiding connections to politically controversial topics that could remind viewers of the negative impacts of war.