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Bug #39866 closed:withdrawn

In a Word

This bug appeared in a news report published by The Japan Times on Nov 5, 2014. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Ethical Issue


“Female GSDF officer to be assigned to NATO,” screams out a headline in today’s Japan Times. The article goes on to explain that GDSF stands for Ground Self Defense Forces (Japan’s defacto army) but what is the implication of the first word in the headline?

Writing about it on Twitter, Robert Dujarric (Director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan) asks, “how is gender relevant?” It’s a good question. It might be relevant if the subject of the story were the first female officer to be assigned to NATO but the article merely states that she is “the first member of the Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched to NATO headquarters on a long-term basis.” Either there is some relevant piece of information missing in the article that would complete this puzzling headline or mentioning the officer’s gender is, in a word, irrelevant.



JT Cassidy has contacted The Japan Times

Bug History

Nov 05, 2014 3:09 am Open JT Cassidy
Nov 05, 2014 8:02 pm Open: Under Discussion JT Cassidy
Nov 05, 2014 8:03 pm Closed: Withdrawn JT Cassidy
Nov 05, 2014 9:34 pm Open: Under Discussion JT Cassidy
Nov 05, 2014 9:37 pm Closed: Withdrawn JT Cassidy

Discussion Leave a comment


Somehow when I read the article I missed this sentence: "Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who aims to expand women’s roles in various fields, proposed sending a female SDF officer when he visited the NATO headquarters in May." Which would neatly explain why the officer's gender was noted in the headline. I regret the error.

Or as Emily Litella from SNL's Weekend Update might have said, "Never mind."

Nov 05, 2014 9:36 pm