Ex-soldier hopes coming forward will shine light on ‘routine’ sexual harassment in Japanese army

Ms Rina Gonoi, a former member of Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force, speaks during a news conference on Dec 19, 2022. PHOTOl EPA-EFE
Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

TOKYO – Fleeing to an evacuation shelter after a tsunami swept through her coastal hometown in Miyagi prefecture on March 11, 2011, a young Rina Gonoi saw first-hand the relief work led by Japan’s military Self-Defence Forces (SDF).

Inspired to be a force for good, the then 11-year-old fifth-grader saw the SDF as her dream job, and joined the army in April 2020.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.