In order to reduce personnel costs, Japan’s Finance Ministry wants the Defense Ministry to study ways of easing out older troops. Starting in their 30s, troops would be offered early retirement and job-placement services. The idea is that older troops cost more than younger ones.

The Finance Ministry also wants to introduce a sort of “Secretarial Corps” to the SDF:

The envisioned “quasi-SDF member positions” specializing in secretarial duties such as accounting and procurement would receive the same pay as regular government administrative officials, helping to keep a lid on personnel costs. These personnel would not be involved in SDF front-line activities such as surveillance, combat training and disaster relief operations. (Link)

Of course, Defense Minister Kitazawa was having none of it:

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa reacted angrily Friday to a Finance Ministry plan to slash SDF personnel costs, saying the cuts were “an unreasonable intrusion” in his ministry’s affairs.

“It’s outrageous that [Finance Ministry] bureaucrats have the nerve to make public a matter affecting organizational affairs of the Defense Ministry,” Kitazawa said at a press conference. “It flies in the face of our Cabinet’s commitment to have decision-making led by politicians, not bureaucrats.”

So much for a united Cabinet…

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch