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Tuesday, 7th October 2008
In General Japan News,

Female fire-fighters on the increase

Japanese women are flocking to join local firefighting groups on a voluntary basis, it has emerged.

Around 4,000 women across the country have signed up as recruits in the last five years, reports the Mainichi Daily News.

Some 16,707 women volunteer firefighters were recorded in April this year at local groups across the nation, according to Nihon Shobo Kyokai's (Nissho) judicial foundation data cited in the article.

Only two per cent of the nation's volunteer firefighters are female, but the first attempt to set up a female-only firefighting group in the nation's history has been planned to take place in Ibaraki Prefecture within the next three years, the article noted.

A Nissho representative told the newspaper: "It's difficult to send women into fire situations, but there are increasing numbers of services that they can provide in addition to those offered by local firefighting squads so far."

Earlier this month more than 100 firefighters and 40 fire engines tackled a blaze in Osaka at a video and DVD store. The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning and killed 15 men.

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