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Japan, a faraway land with next to no guns

Japan has some of the lowest gun crime rates in the world (Photo: Reuters)

Japan has some of the low­est gun crime rates in the world (Pho­to: Reuters)

With a mere six gun deaths in 2014, Japan has some of the low­est rates of gun crime in the world and hopes to com­plete­ly erad­i­cate it in the near future.

Obtain­ing a gun in Japan can be a long and ardu­ous process, one that author­i­ties say has great­ly decreased the num­ber of guns and gun own­ers in the coun­try. Less guns equal less gun crime, and that is just the way Japan would like to keep things.

Accord­ing to BBC news, would be gun own­ers are required to “attend an all-day class, take a writ­ten exam and pass a shoot­ing-range test with a mark of at least 95 per­cent” to even be con­sid­ered for gun own­er­ship in Japan. Appli­cants are also sub­ject­ed to drug and men­tal health tests and exten­sive back­ground checks, in which police look for “links to extrem­ist groups” and run checks on rel­a­tives and cowork­ers.

Japan has gone so far as to ban hand­guns out­right and has also lim­it­ed the num­ber of gun shops to three per pre­fec­ture. In a coun­try of around only forty pre­fec­tures, gun shops in Japan are few and far between.

Oppos­ing America’s so-called “mil­i­ta­riza­tion of the police,” Japan’s police offi­cers “rarely use guns and put much greater empha­sis on mar­tial arts.” Police always leave their weapons at the sta­tion when end­ing their shift and do not car­ry weapons off-duty.

Effects of Japan’s strict gun laws have also been felt by crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions, as Yakuza gun crime has great­ly decreased in the last 15 years. Even the fish­ing indus­try has been affect­ed, as some cre­ative crim­i­nals have tak­en to smug­gling guns into the coun­try by hid­ing them inside of frozen tuna.

Japan, a far­away land with next to no guns
Japan, a far­away land with next to no guns

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