April 15th, 2013
07:48 AM ET
10 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. Obiwanshenobi

    Good. Is there some type of problem?

    April 15, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Everyday, someone is murdered by a gun in the U.S. I'm not surprised nor do I blame foreigners for not wanting to study here. From our very inception, this is a country built on violence.

    April 15, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  3. HenryMiller

    "Foreign students 'scared' of guns in U.S."

    Then maybe they shouldn't come here.

    It's sad, though, the descendants of the samurai quivering like rabbits over some imagined danger.

    April 15, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. ST

    Not only the students in Japan are afraid of coming to US, also my friends who are still working abroad at the moment, they are also afraid to come back home. They are saying that after the shooting in Newtown, a lot have been revealed of which they were not aware of before. No one knew that there are 300 million guns in the country. We discussed about it, and they are wondering why ONE NATION not in war in any of its neighboring countries should have all these weapons. To make even the matter worse, a lot of guns were bought immediately after Newtown shooting.

    April 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. joe c

    who cares? don't come here

    April 15, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  6. plain&simple

    And the far right gun junkies will have no problem with the news coming from this article!!! It's a reason to buy more guns....keeps forien people away. God help America!!!

    April 15, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. Will Beararms

    Should we suspend the Consitution so that more Japanese students will attend our colleges and universities?

    April 15, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Fine. Let them study at home, and NOT in the U.S.

    April 15, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Pragmatic Realist

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

    What an amazing statistic.

    April 15, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. BILL, WI

    Paragraph six sums it up more than the fear of guns argument. According to the article, 571 people were murdered in Japan by beatings, stragulation and stabbing. Compare those causes of death to the U.S. data for non firearm deaths.

    April 15, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. bigdoglv

    In one breath it's about gun violence, next breath it's about low birth rate and a desire to stay home. Which one sounds like it's made up?

    April 15, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  12. BO

    Another ignoramus Kerry comment.

    April 15, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. beingpushedtotheright

    3.66 more years. God!! I wish I could un-vote.

    April 15, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Guest

    Surprise! All the democratic lackeys stepping in line with ignorant statements based on little to no verifiable information!


    April 15, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. WouldYouLookAtThat

    "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." – If they're too lazy to check the stats on violent gun crimes in the U.S., and just read what the MSM has to say about it, we don't want them to study here. Gun violence, for decades, has been on the decline. The media just sensationalizes isolated, very unfortunate and tragic incidents, it gets the uninformed fired up, which in turn gets their politicians fired up, which in turn brings on debate and in-fighting that should not be happening to begin with...

    April 15, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. SpencerRifle

    So? Are we now supposed to base our domestic policies on what foreigners think or want?

    April 15, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Anonymous

    And this is a problem why?

    April 15, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    I don't blame them. So am I. It's only a matter of time before everywhere we go will become Shootouts at the OK Corral. With a bunch of collateral damage.

    April 15, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. agaba morris edmund

    ....all guns shd be registered and kept by the gov't

    April 15, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. idb

    Interestingly none of the foreign students I have ever met complained about being afraid of guns. Quit the contrary, they are usually quit happy to go to the shooting range and enjoy the freedoms Americans still have.

    April 15, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  21. JiminM

    Hey, they can choose not to travel to America.

    April 15, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. Thomas

    Why dose America love Guns ?

    April 15, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. brian

    Yeah. Let's base our laws to make people from other countries feel safe. I've lived here my whole life and haven't been affected by gun violence. The media just blows it out of proportion. You have more of a chance of being beaten by a street gang in other countries than being shot in the US.

    April 15, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Selmers

    Really? Wasn't it a foreign student who shot up Virginia Tech?

    April 15, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Chad

    Yeah... that's why. This is one of the most obvious agenda-driven rants I have ever seen.

    April 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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