April 15th, 2013
07:48 AM ET
2 years ago

Kerry: Foreign students 'scared' of guns in U.S.

(CNN) – Students in other countries assessing where to study abroad are increasingly scared of coming to the United States because of gun violence, the nation's top diplomat said Monday.

Speaking with CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty in Tokyo, Secretary of State John Kerry said he'd discussed the situation with officials there who said students felt unsafe in the United States.

"We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they're actually scared. They think they're not safe in the United States and so they don't come," Kerry said.

He noted Japan's restrictive gun laws – which prevent private ownership of nearly all firearms, including handguns – and said the country was safer "where people are not running around with guns."

In 2011, Japan sent 21,290 students to study in the United States, making it the seventh largest country of origin for international scholars. That was down 14% from the previous year, according to numbers from the Institute of International Education.

Figures have shown international study is down markedly among Japanese students to all destinations, including the United States. Experts have attributed the decline to Japan's low birthrate, the expense of foreign study in a poor economy, and a desire among Japanese young people to remain at home rather than venture to other countries.

Unlike the United States, the right to private gun ownership in Japan is not guaranteed in law. Individuals wishing to possess any firearm must obtain a license and demonstrate a reason for owning the gun.

Out of a total 582 homicides in Japan in 2008, 11 were by guns.

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun control • John Kerry
soundoff (1,100 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Great. More openings for US students.

    April 15, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. harryhodini

    Sweet! Stay in your country and get educated. Lets save our tax dollars to educate American Citizens!

    April 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. Food for thought

    We need to worry about educating our own students first. There is more violence in other countries then here. The Media in America makes America seem much more violent then it really is.Our media has more privileges then in other countries. American studens should get the special treatment not people from out of country.

    I met someone who came here from China. The was laughing because he came here and got the "Free" school ticket. He said I get to come here and go to school for free. Then he opened up a small business and paid no taxes for 7 years..nice huh? I told him yep, and you pay your workers minimum wage. nice.

    April 15, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Food for thought

    It shouldn't be allowed for media to skew a story. They should be forced to stick with facts in stories. America wouldn't seem so violent.

    April 15, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Patriot
    I think I would be better off denouncing my citizenship and then immigrating here illegally, I'd probably feel like I had a lot more freedoms
    -------------------------------------------------
    One of the most stupid statements I've read on this thread.
    It is quite obvious that you failed to take advantage of the educational system in this country, therefore renouncing your citizenship and coming back here illegally would not change the fact that you're an Ugly American and a lazy dolt that resents the willingness in others to self-sacrifice and committ.

    April 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Good!!!!! We don't want the sob's flying airplanes into our buildings anymore. What a stupid comment by Mr Swiftboat himself. This is the guy who parks his yacht in another State to avoid taxes, Idiot!

    April 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Earle

    Good!!!!! We don't want the sob's flying airplanes into our buildings anymore. What a stupid comment by Mr Swiftboat himself. This is the guy who parks his yacht in another State to avoid taxes, part of the do as I say not as I do club. Liberal Elitist Idiot!

    April 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. Howard33rd

    Yea, lets do away with guns because foreigners don't like them. great reasoning there Mr. Kerry.

    April 15, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Name

    Yes I'm scare , but I think I will overstay my visa... Lmao

    April 15, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Joel

    Kerry's comments border on the absurd. Merely anecdotal nonsense and liberal speculation. This is only news because the media heard their masters talking about guns.

    April 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Tom

    At least he is not dancing on the graves of the children in Newtown like every other democrat in this country is....just another democrat/communist who managed to cobble together his own sound byte. Good try, Mr. Kerry, but not good enough since the average american is able to see right thru this.....

    April 15, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Ridge

    That's really his best argument. W-E-A-K. Libs just throw everything they can against the wall in hopes something will stick.

    April 15, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Polecat1

    Good! Foreigners should stay away and study in their own third world countries. Tired of our own citizens getting shafted by the corporate "globalization" philosophy.

    April 15, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Keith

    If the delicate little things are scared, let them stay home. Who cares? We have too many kids who can't get into school.

    April 15, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Yes, harry ... if only they were capable of being educated as most Americans appear to be about as illiterate as they come. I don't think you'll have to worry about a stampede of foreign students into the U.S. for education ... nope, not as long as the illiterate white trash leads the way on gun laws. What's the old saying? When the neighborhood goes down, it's time to get out! That's my goal in life ... get out of America. She's been ruined by illiterate white trash.

    April 15, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. wyatt6917

    Let them stay out of this country then! And this fella' Kerry, that thinks what some foreigner thinks is going to let him and his cronies take away my 2nd Amendment rights?? Not gonna' happen, John...

    April 15, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Adam

    Poor education probably has more to do with it.

    April 15, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Cakes

    Polecat1

    "Good! Foreigners should stay away and study in their own third world countries. Tired of our own citizens getting shafted by the corporate "globalization" philosophy."

    Plain ignorance on display.

    April 15, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Patty

    Well, ladifrickinda. Who cares????? Kerry, please find something worth while to do.

    April 15, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Katherine

    I don't think you have to worry about an avalanche of foreign students, anymore, at least not as long as illiterate white trash leads the way on gun laws. Yeap, what's that old saying? When the neighborhood goes down ... time to get out. I know that's my goal in life ... get out of America as she's been ripped to shreads by illiterate white trash.

    April 15, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. rofl

    Don't cloud the issue, Kerry. We all know it's your swaying jowels that scare them off.

    April 15, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Who cares? We have too many kids who can't get into school
    -------------------------------------------------
    Could it be because they didn't make the grade? Didn't apply themselves and focus on getting high test scores? Were too busy hanging out talking on their Smart Phones with their equally stupid friends who were also hanging out as opposed to taking care of business AT SCHOOL? Maybe their parents were too busy working, partying, and medicating to realize that little Johnny wouldn't be accepted at Janitorial School much less Cuyahoga County Community College.

    April 15, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Name

    Those rich foreigners can stay in their countries. There are plenty of American citizens seeking an education.

    April 15, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. dplandry

    Great, then maybe less will come here and there will be more jobs for our own people.

    April 15, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. jkantor267

    Apparently Planes don't.

    April 15, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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