China: September 9, 2000

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Japan continues to enhance its military reserve. These forces are recruited from retiring military personnel. The Regular Reserve has 47,900 troops assigned to support duties. The Rapid Reserve, formed in 1997, has 15,000 personnel assigned to front line combat units. The problem is that recruiting reservists is very difficult. The Japanese business culture strongly resists giving employees time off for military training, demanding that employees be totally loyal to the company. To solve the recruiting problem, the Regular Reserve plans to induct about 200 civilian volunteers (presumably from companies with more tolerant bosses). These men will receive about 50 days of training over a three-year enlistment. The Japanese Army hopes to expand the program, eventually taking in thousands of civilians who have no military experience. --Stephen V Cole


 

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