The taste of free curry leaves members of the Japanese defense forces in trouble | Japan

A strong appetite for curry has caused problems for six members of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (SDF), after it emerged they had been eating the dish without paying for up to three years.

SDF members, including an officer in his 50s, helped themselves to free curry at Hachinohe Air Base in northeast Japan, apparently ignoring rules requiring them to pay, according to Japanese media.

The dish is free for personnel living in barracks or stationed aboard ships docked at the base, Sora News 24 reported.

But the officer and his five colleagues belonged to neither group and should have paid for their meals.

The officer, who has not been named, did not pay for any of his Friday lunchtime curries between July 2017 and March 2020, while others have had free for two to three years since 2012, the official said. Yomiuri Shimbun.

The officer reportedly tried to justify his transgression by telling FDS investigators, “People have been doing what they call ‘tasting’ since before I was posted to this base. I didn’t think it was a serious violation of the regulations.

A military court, however, did not agree and this week suspended him from his duties for five days. Fellow curry-lovers were also given short suspensions.

Japan’s maritime SDF prides itself on its connection to curry, which staff eat every Friday. Packets of boiled ‘navy blue curry’ in the bag are popular souvenirs and some are appearing on supermarket shelves.

Sailors in the Imperial Navy are said to have taken a liking to this dish thanks to the British-Indian Royal Navy officers who brought curry powder to Japan after the country was forced to end nearly three centuries of isolation in the mid 1800s.

The first recipes appeared in Japanese cookbooks in 1872, and its modern incarnation, karē raisu (rice curry), is very popular among school children. And starving naval officers.

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