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. murph

    I'm scared of foreign students in thw U.S.

    April 15, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Jarhead4life

    I'm glad that the current bunch of morons that are in power are showing us that the will stop at nothing to tear down the 2nd Amendment. All there anti gun laws are going to do is prove that they are morons and haven't a clue as to what they are doing. They will pass all the anti-gun laws and the killings will continue because the psychos and criminals will get the guns from the same underground that supplies the already illegal heroin, meth and other banned substances. Thus proving that their laws are useless and only hurt sane law abiding citizens.

    April 15, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Scott

    Of course it's guns. Just make sure not to mention the enormous number of Chinese scholars that are coming to the U.S. to study. That would unravel your theory.

    April 15, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. MIKE

    Are you kidding me? It has nothing to do with guns, It has everything to do with our jacked up, over costing school system. Look at our students in the U.S. What have any of them done when compared to other countries.
    Nothing..... Ehh unless you count Facebook, Enron and a few others.

    Our schools suck and cost way to much for the education you get in return.

    People need to stop pushing their gun goals and start dealing with the real problems in this country. Mental health and education!

    April 15, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. pjusa

    Good. Let them stay home. The fewer foreign people we educate then ship back home the better. Unfortunately they will ultimately still come. Contrary to what the Libs might tell you our post-secondary educational system (college and up) is by far the best in the world. It might be expensive but it's still the best.

    April 15, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. thebes42

    If this is true then foreign students are utter imbiciles who can not judge relative risks.
    The USA has a fairly low murder rate.
    Kerry is t fearmongering, just like the Corporate News Networks do, because "if it bleeds, it leads".
    The kids would be better off looking at our drunk driving statistics and what happens to the "non-emergency" health needs of our uninsured.

    April 15, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. HeinzM

    No surprise here, just another really stupid, pulled in by the hair reason used to diminish the rights and freedom of Americans. Another politico that should be permanently retired. It's not like he needs the job, like over 20 Million citizens.

    April 15, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. wisconsin101

    Then tell them to stay home

    April 15, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Mark G.

    More anti-gun, anti-freedom propaganda from the traitorous liberals. Make no mistake, the US consitution is under attack by these seditious politicians and law makers and media. It is the liberal media who has created this fear and even these mass shootings with their absurd dramatic accounts where they glamourize them and give the killers infamy like old west outlaws that are still talked about and romanticized today.
    Then they turn around and blame guns and innocent gun owners. This is yet another example of their treachoury and brainwashing.

    April 15, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Maui Cruiser

    Let those concerned international students study in North Korea: no guns there!

    April 15, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. t3chn0ph0b3

    Dear Foreign Students:

    You should be afraid of US guns. They're everywhere and there are virtually no real controls on who can get access to them.

    Americans who are sick and tired of the gun lobby and a radical minority of Americans holding us all hostage to violence

    April 15, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. lex

    Deos Kerry really need to get mixed up with domestic politics? He is no longer a SEnator. Stick to the job you have. Its tough enough.

    April 15, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. Wilson

    Let the gangers kill each other. If they belong to a gang, they are worthless leaches on society.

    April 15, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. kentuckian

    Then tell them to stay home!

    April 15, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Morekoolaidplz

    Because Americas academics is falling way behind and it starts in kindergarten. Teachers only teach to pass the starr test instead of actually teach knowledge. No student left behind, did exactly that. Pass the student regardless....

    April 15, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. stealthycat

    they're not scared – its another anti-gun pin to put in ............. crime rates soar when private ownership of guns is removed. FACT

    April 15, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Name. Jon

    Glad to hear they are. Stay and study in their own fouled up place

    April 15, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. t3chn0ph0b3

    Dear Foreign Students:

    You should be afraid of American guns. They're everywhere and there are virtually no controls on who has access to them.

    Americans who are fed up with the gun lobby and a radical minority of Americans who are holding the rest of us hostage to violence under the deceitful guise of fighting for the consti_tution

    April 15, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. ken

    Guns are killing America. I don't care to go there anymore also. Just too dangerous.

    April 15, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Kimber

    #Alina77 and #Hector Rodriguez

    According to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey – the leading source of international public information about firearms – the U.S. has the best-armed civilian population in the world, with an estimated 270 million total guns. That’s an average of 89 firearms for every 100 residents — far ahead of Yemen, which comes in second with about 55 firearms for every 100 people, or Switzerland, which is third with 46 guns for every 100 people.

    Yes, peace loving Switzerland is THIRD with 46 guns for every 100 people, yet their homicide rate is virtually non-existent. Why? Clearly the difference is something other than access to firearms. We in the USA need to wake up and treat the actual problem of mental illness and the disrespect some of us have for human life. More gun legislation is NOT the answer. It's nothing more than a political band-aid so our legislators can claim to have done something.

    April 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Tim Williams

    Then tell the liberal media to stop sensationalizing gun violence and focus on how safe our country really is, especially states that allow students and teachers to conceal carry on their campus.

    April 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. Ryan Lang

    11 out 582! If that is the case then clearly guns aren't the problem!

    April 15, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Jerry

    When returning from Australia a 17 year old asked me if owned a gun and then he asked me if I ever killed anyone. I almost fell out of my seat. After many questions it turns out he and his friends take American movies at face value. At least in this case, it's the American movies that put fear into the hearts of students, not the guns themselves.

    April 15, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. mountainlady

    Guns do scare American students as well. This concern about being safe spreads beyond foreign students. I have a friend who works in the tourist business who said that US gun violence, particular as applied to guns being carried in National Parks and concealed weapons being prevalent in Florida are cancelling vacation plans for the US and Disney World. Thanks to the American obsession with guns we are losing money as well as becoming an international laughing stock. There is more gun violence both in and out of the ghetto in America than in all other developed countries combined. People are smart to take their tourist and student dollars and stay away.

    April 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. Andy

    I like that, demonstrate the need for one. That's what we need here really.

    April 15, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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