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February 10, 2015 2:19 pm

IDF’s Only Japanese Lone Soldier Earns Red Paratrooper’s Beret

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Sol Kikuchi, pictured with his parents, received the coveted red beret of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office. – Sol Kikuchi, the only lone soldier (without parents living in Israel) from Japan in the Israel Defense Forces, last week finished the grueling 31-mile march required to receive the coveted red beret of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade.

“The march wasn’t hard for me, but seeing my parents, who came from Japan [for my beret ceremony], was really emotional for me and for them,” Kikuchi, 21, told Israel Hayom.

When Kikuchi first enlisted in the IDF, he completed a three-month Hebrew-language course, and vowed he would then volunteer to serve in a combat unit.

“If I am serving, I might as well go all the way and serve in a combat unit like the Paratroopers Brigade,” he said.

“Obviously it’s not easy to be alone in a foreign country, but this is my home now and I am very at peace with my decision to serve as a combat soldier in the IDF,” added Kikuchi.

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  • Josh

    How does someone who is not a citizen of Israel enlist in the IDF?

  • James

    God Bless You Sol and all the other young soldiers who protect the borders of Israel.

  • techiya

    Arigato! May Hashem bless you in all of your efforts! WHat a special young man!

  • Jack

    Otskeru sama deshita

  • Domo Arigato. in your service to Israel.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    G-d bless that young lone soldier. Hazak ve ematz.

  • bea green JP BA

    I am impressed, Kikuchi! Well done!
    I wish you all the very best,
    Bea Green

  • Congratulations Kikuchi. Israel and the world needs more of strong upstanding men as yourself.

  • judorebbe


  • Jill M Goldberger

    Kol hakavod! Thank you for your service. Beautiful picture with your parents! May Hashem protect you as you protect His holy People.

  • manley kiefer

    Thank you Kikuchi. We appreciate your service and need you.


  • H. Givon

    Bravo -dear soldier. You may be a ‘lone soldier’ but you are not alone. The heart of Israel is open to you and we are grateful for your presence among us. We pray for your safety as you protect us.

  • erica



    My wife and I would love to welcome this Israeli soldier in our home in Haifa. Can you help us get in touch with him?

    Jean-Charles/Shlomo Chebat
    Sir John William Dawson Medalist
    Honorary Professor/Professeur honoraire
    Adjunct Professor. Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
    Professor at the Geneva Graduate School of Governance.

    “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
    Thomas Edison