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News Gun ownership in Japan (White Paper 2018)

thomas

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The National Police Agency (NPA) has released its 2018 White Paper on firearm incidents in Japan, and the numbers are amazing but not surprising.

For 2017, the following was reported:
  • 8 homicides (all related to crime syndicates)
  • 5 armed robberies (all gang members)
  • 13 other firearm-related incidents (11 of which were suicides)
The last year to reach a two-digit number in homicides was 2014 with 13 shootings.


The 2017 body count is all the more amazing, considering that from four years ago, Japan has found itself in the crosshairs of an ongoing gang war. A schism in the nation’s largest crime syndicate, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, has led to heightened tension, with rival gangs in Tokyo and elsewhere reportedly attempting to form new alliances or exploit the vacuum. Some might be inclined to think that - just like in a Mario Puzo story - Japan’s gang members would “go to the mattresses” (that is, move away from their family homes) and prepare to shoot it out in barber shops, restaurants and apartment elevators. Indeed, a few decades ago, when the Yamaguchi-gumi was previously rocked by internecine violence after a faction rejected the gang’s new boss and broke away to form the Ichiwa-kai, the casualty count over an 18-month period reached 18 dead and 47 wounded.

The draconian laws on gun ownership do have some adverse effects, too:

Gun ownership in this country is discouraged by draconian regulations. By virtue of owning a shotgun or rifle, you waive your right to privacy; police have the right to appear unannounced at your doorstep to confirm that the firearm is being correctly stored according to stringent regulations (in a sturdy concealed locker) and that its ammunition is stored separately. (Using a firearm to defend one’s family from invaders is out of the question.) The declining number of legally owned firearms has actually become something of a problem because, in addition to fewer people who hunt for sport, some rural residents are being overrun by growing populations of wild boar, monkeys and other animals, which damage crops and occasionally pose a physical threat. As a result, concerns have arisen that Japan might not have enough guns.

PS: this thread is not meant to bash gun ownership per se. However, the stats linked below put things into a global perspective.


 

mdchachi

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Ironically my Japanese father-in-law had probably shot more guns than I have. He was a legal gun owner and would go hunting regularly. He had old dusty mounted pheasants and other animals in his house and the freezer had packs of not-very-appealing meat stuffed in there. My wife also got her gun license in Japan but she had let it lapse before we met.
 

Majestic

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I don't think you can get a license for a handgun. Just rifles (unless you are a police officer or self-defense force person).
 

Uncle Frank

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While stationed in Fukuoka in the early 70's , I missed shooting and hunting. I heard about a local hunting club and joined it. They used a fancy air gun from Korea to hunt birds. You had to pump it up about 25 times to make it have enough air to work right. It used tiny plastic shells filled with tiny lead bird shot the size of sand grains. The Yakuza who often came to the underground bar where I worked all carried knives , but never guns.
 
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