〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Japan gets first female fighter pilot inspired by ‘Top Gun’
Japan’s Self Defense Forces consist of Maritime, Ground, and Air forces with nearly 250,000 service members. While 24% of the support members are women, only six percent of the enlisted troops are female. There had never been a female captain for a combat vessel until 2016 when Miho Ohtani took on the role of the captain of Yamagiri in 2016.
Now, having been inspired by a fight-jet movie Top Gun, a young Japanese woman has become a pilot of F15J, a twin-engine, all-weather air superiority fighter. The fighter jet can load eight missiles and reach top speeds of Mach 2.5 — 2.5 times the speed of sound.
It took over six decades since the Self Defense Forces were created in 1954 to see a female captain of a battle vessel and pilot of a fighter jet. However, the country has been seeing more women take traditionally men dominated jobs, such as a truck driver and construction worker. Will there be more female pilots when the sequence of Top Gun comes to the screen next year?
Enjoy reading the article and think about the challenges women may face in a cockpit or bridge where most of the other staff are men.