Taipei--The government will conscript 138,975 servicemen into the military this year, down 29,144 people from last year and the lowest number in the past decade, the Ministry of the Interior said Saturday.
The low conscription rate is partly a result of superstition, as the Chinese zodiac for 1998 -- the birth year for men conscripted -- is the year of the tiger, the ministry said.
It is believed that people born in the year of tiger have bad fortune and bad personalities.
Conscription over the past 10 years has often seen around 165,000 qualifiers each year, while 2009 saw a high of 174,000, according to the ministry.
Among men conscripted in 2017, 89.4 percent will not be able to fulfill their duty this year, ministry data shows.
The ministry said 85.9 percent of that group remain in school, while 9.8 percent have already served their terms (for instance, military school students).
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel