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Gun Control in Japan: Rarely More Than 10 Deaths Per Year

Image: Gun Control in Japan: Rarely More Than 10 Deaths Per Year
Police officers patrol at Ueno park on April 1, 2016 in Tokyo, Japan. During cherry blossom season thousands of people gather across Japan to practice 'Hanami,' picnicking under a blooming Sakura tree to enjoy food and drinks. (Photoby Taro Karibe/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:28 PM

Strict gun control in Japan has led to very few people dying in gun violence in that country each year, Business Insider reported Saturday.

Japan, a country of 127 million, rarely has more than 10 gun deaths per year, the report said.

“Ever since guns entered the country, Japan has always had strict gun laws… they are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world, and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don’t play a part in civilian society,” said Iain Overton, the executive director of British advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.

After World War II, pacifism became a prevalent philosophy in Japan. Japanese law as of 1958 said, “no person shall possess a firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” Business Insider reported.

Police only began carrying firearms in 1946 after American troops required them to do so for security, the report said.

Rules for obtaining a gun in Japan are extensive: a person must attend an all-day class, pass a written test, earn at least 95 percent accuracy on a shooting range, pass a mental health evaluation that takes place at a hospital, and pass a background check that probes a person’s criminal record and interviews the person’s friends and family, Business Insider reported.

Every three years the person must retake the class and the exam, and they can only buy shotguns and air rifles, not handguns, the report said.

The country also restricts the number of gun dealers. Each prefecture, which varies in size from half a million to 12 million people, can only operate three gun shops, maximum.

Other rules state that a person can only buy a new magazine if an empty one is traded in. When a person dies, relatives must surrender the deceased person’s firearms, Business Insider reported.

Deadly attacks in Japan do occur, but they generally involve stabbings. Most encounters between law officers and suspects involve martial arts and striking weapons, Business Insider reported.

The report said that a culture of gun control has led to a harmonious relationship between police and civilians. Since officers choose to use less than lethal force, fewer people are afraid that they will be shot, so they have less of a feeling that they need to buy guns.

The largest mass killing in Japan’s modern history was in 2016, when a man with knives killed 19 people, The Guardian reported. The second-highest number came in 1995, when 12 were killed in a sarin gas attack in a subway.

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Strict gun control in Japan has led to very few people dying in gun violence in that country each year, Business Insider reported Saturday.Japan, a country of 127 million, rarely has more than 10 gun deaths per year, the report said."Ever since guns entered the country,...
japan, has, gun control, few deaths, few conflicts, with police
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2018-28-17
Saturday, 17 February 2018 08:28 PM
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