Meet Misa Matsushima, Japan's First Woman Fighter Pilot

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Misa Matsushima

Japan is all set to have its first woman fighter pilot. On Thursday, the military announced that a 26-year-old woman, Misa Matsushima, has qualified to become a fighter jet pilot in the country.


According to the official statement of the ministry, First Lieutenant Misa Matsushima finished her training on 22nd August to fly F-15s. She will make her official debut on Friday when she is assigned the 5th Air Wing at the Nyutabaru Air Base.

"My longtime dream has come true. I want to become a full-fledged pilot, no different from men, as soon as possible," said First Lt. Misa Matsushima

Matsushima completed her course with five men. She is expected to start working as a pilot of the military aircraft in the next six to 12 months after undergoing further training.

"I hope she will continue to blaze a difficult path and become a role model for women who aspire to become fighter pilots," said Osamu Uemori, who taught her on the training course.

While interacting with the local media, Matsushima revealed that she was inspired by the movie Top Gun.

"Ever since I saw the movie 'Top Gun' when I was in primary school, I have always admired fighter jet pilots," she told local media


Matsushima revealed that she also wants to work for women who wish to work in this field. She said, "I wish to continue to work hard to fulfil my duty (not just for myself but) also for women who will follow this path in the future."

Matsushima joined the ASDF (Air Self-Defense Force) after graduating from the National Defense Academy in March 2014. She got pilot's licecne in October 2016, after which she continued working hard to become a fighter pilot.

In 1993, the air force of Japan decided to open all positions to women, except for pilots of fighter jets and reconnaissance aircraft. However, in 2015, the defence ministry allowed females for the positions. The decision was taken to create better working environments and opportunities for women.

Picture Credit: NDTV

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