Article: “Woman takes helm of Japanese Aegis destroyer for 1st time”

“Capt. Miho Otani became the first woman to take the helm of a Japanese Aegis destroyer on Monday, pledging to set an example for other female sailors to follow.

“I expect you to pursue our missions without hesitation,” Otani, 48, told the 300-member crew of the Myoko, the Aegis defense system-equipped Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer she will captain, at the Maizuru Base in Kyoto Prefecture, western Japan.

Speaking to reporters, she explained the weight she will carry in the role.

“It is a great honor to become the first female captain (of an Aegis destroyer). I would like to think about how we can make this trend a norm as I believe an increasing number of women will enroll (in the SDF) from now on.

Military groups (or the Self-defence Force in the case of Japan) are known for being fairly traditional and conservative and may take longer to be “certain enough” about a particular topic, such as the integration of women.