On March 16th, Sgt. Reina Hashiba became Japan's first paratrooper, joining the Ground Self-Defense Force's 1st Airborne Brigade. Members of this elite unit are trained to parachute near enemy lines from heights of 300 meters or more. The bar on women joining the unit was lifted in 2017, but physical fitness requirements remained the same as men. During the five-week training course, Sgt. Hashiba carried a load of 60 kilograms, which included a parachute and a rifle, and parachuted from aircraft five times. Congratulations Sgt. Hashiba!
The number of women in the Self-Defense Forces has been rising in Japan. At the end of 2018, there were about 16,000 female members, accounting for 7 percent of the total of 226,000. This seems like a very low percentage. I don't know what the percentage of women in the military is in the United States.