Articles - 'a', 'an' and 'the'


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"short back and sides" haircut is common among soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women worldwide. Japan's Defence Ministry has said it will relax rules for recruits to have this short style. This is to attract young people to its ranks. Companies are experiencing staff shortages; and military is no exception. From April, recruits to Japan's Self Defence Forces (SDF) will be allowed to have longer hair. Men will be able to have longer hair on top, while women can have long hair, as long as it does not interfere with wearing helmet or is not below shoulders.

Recruitment experts met last month to discuss how to increase troop numbers. In Japan, there is ever-dwindling number of young people to recruit from. military has to compete with businesses who are trying to lure new employees. Japan's Defence Minister said: "As our nation faces serious workforce shortage, we recognize competition with others, including private sector, to secure talent has been intensifying." He said new haircut rules would "change or eliminate regulations that lack rationality". Japan might also allow people with tattoos to join SDF.

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