In a recent interview, the head of Kochi Chuo High School, Masahisa Chikamori, announced that the school would be starting a Self-Defense Force Course in 2016. This course would provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to join Japan’s armed protective organization, including some combat training.

However, both the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology admitted they were unaware of this training program when questioned about it.

Kochi Chuo High School was established in 1963 in Kochi Prefecture. It has since offered two main sections in which to enroll: a “Department of Nursing” and “Ordinary Course.” The Ordinary Course is made up of six sub-courses: Entertainment, Food Business, Sports, Retail, Human Power Up, and Public Works. However, as of next year a seventh, the SDF Course, will be added.

According to the course description, it is designed to help develop students’ minds, bodies, and souls for the defense of Japan. It is also reported to include lectures by active duty and retired SDF members, as well as six hours of jūkendō training a week. Jūkendō is a martial art in which combatants learn to fight with bayonets.

When asked, the Ministry of Defense said it was “surprised by this and don’t know the details.” Even though it is reported that SDF members will be giving lectures at Kochi Chuo High School a spokesperson said that it was normal to “cooperate with schools on request.” No comment was made regarding any special involvement with Kochi Chuo’s SDF course.

In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology claimed it had “never heard of this unusual course.” Sankei News also reached out to the Kochi Prefecture private school and university support department which stated that such schools do not need to apply for special permission to add new courses.

Chikamori said that the reason for adding the SDF Course was that in Kochi about 100 high school students per yer go on to enroll in the National Defense Academy. Their course was simply filling a demand in the area, and enrollment in the SDF course would not necessarily lead to a career there. Graduates could also move on to work in law enforcement or fire departments…where bayonet fighting is apparently valued.

Source: Kochi Chuo High School, Sankei News West
Top Image: Kochi Chuo High School
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