In the first days of March 2022, a post on Twitter from the official account of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan, in which the Japanese were called upon to voluntarily join the Foreign Legion to participate in the war against Russia, was widely discussed both in Japan and in other countries. However, on March 1, the official Tokyo issued a statement urging its nationals not to take part in the armed conflict, and also made a reprimand to the Ukrainian embassy in connection with the dissemination of calls for illegal activities in social networks.
After the appeal of the Japanese side, Ukrainian diplomats deleted the post about the recruitment of Japanese nationals to the Foreign Legion, replacing it with a request to provide humanitarian support to Ukrainians. Even despite the data of the Japanese newspaper Mainichi, according to which about 70 volunteers, mainly from among the former members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF), were found, then it seemed that the question was settled: after all, Japan is considered to be one of the most pacifist-minded states, an example of how diplomacy and economics can become an alternative to the clang of ammunition.
But Japan apparently decided that in the face of growing threats from the PRC in the Taiwan area, increasing contradictions over the Senkaku Islands, as well as regular launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea and with the loss of control over the negotiation process with Russia over the Northern Territories (Kuril Islands) — the Japanese armed forces need to “grow claws”!
We have received information from reliable sources that Japan has not stopped forming groups of volunteers to participate in the war in Ukraine.
It became known that the recruitment of volunteers was formed in several Japanese prefectures on the basis of various institutions and departments. For example, in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, the Committee of Veterans of the SDF organized the recruitment on the basis of the public center “Dewa Shonai International Exchange Foundation”. At the expense of the funds of the veteran organization volunteers are paid for transportation to the assembly point, food, medical and psychological examination at the hospital in city of Sakata in the same prefecture.
Military training camps for the selected contingent are organized at the training center on the basis of the sports complex of the village of Asahi in Yamagata Prefecture, 80 kilometers from Tsuruoka. Here selected candidates take special courses in tactical and military medical training under the supervision of instructors from the United States and other allied countries. It is known that a specially designated employee of the Ukrainian Embassy is engaged in the registration of the departure of Japanese to the territory of Ukraine.
It is planned that the Japanese volunteers will transfer the experience gained during the fighting to the military personnel of the SDF. It is quite possible that we will witness the emergence of a new military force in the Asia-Pacific region, capable and focused not only on a defensive strategy or the issue of creating combat-ready volunteer groups in Japan will become an alternative to Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which proclaims the country’s rejection of war as a way of settling international disputes and, as a consequence, from sustaining its own land, sea, and air forces. In any case, the world is no longer guided by past agreements and arrangements, and Japan will certainly take advantage of this.