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. Bill Hannegan

    Good. I think we've got better things to do than educate wusses and hoplophobes.

    April 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Peace

    It won't take time every and each individual will be scared, when it will be revealed the majority who owns assault weapons are mentally unstable.

    April 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Jonathan

    But aren't most U.S. campuses gun free zon-oh, right.

    April 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Namerene

    What a goofy looking dude. He looks like a goofy liberal

    April 15, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. George

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

    Nope! American as an apple pie.

    April 15, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. kogk1943

    Tell the pukes to go home and/or stay home. Take care of Americans. Frig them!

    April 15, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Justin Case

    This is wonderful news and hopefully more people will stay away. Problem is, a great many of those illegal aliens crossing the borders bring their own guns with them. Kerry is an idiot – typical liberal putz.

    April 15, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  8. Joe in Kalispell

    They can always go to school someplace else. Then we have more spots for U.S. students.

    April 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. david

    Two thoughts as I was reading this article: (1) So? (2) And?

    April 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Sancho

    This a serious candidate for the MAGA award (moronic anti gun argumentation). Please John, be serious, if you want to make a point look at something of value, not this nonsense.

    April 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Guns are good

    Tell them to stay home, we speak english in this country, I get tired of some of the foreign people that take American jobs and can not speak good english, do they skip that class in college, go home.

    April 15, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Guy Smiley

    Good. Most are either terror1sts in training or sponging off US taxpayers waiting to stay pass their student visa expiry.

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. George

    "I have talked to under graduate students and they do not receive the same treatment as foreign students in applying and/or enrolling in graduate studies."

    If you have proof that an incompetent foreign student was admitted over a 4.0 GPA US student, I will totally support you. Otherwise to hell with you!

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. Leonidas

    Great. Let's abandon the 2nd Amendment because some foreign students are p-ssies, Mr. Kerry. Warpaint scared the US Cavalry but General Sheridan knew what to do, huh?

    Americans, raise your hand if you remember where the Statue of Liberty (forced upon us by the French) tells people to come to America and change the way everybody lives. Raise your hand if you remember caring whether college students are scared of s–t that millions of us enjoy every day.

    'Cause a lot of people are afraid of illegal Mexicans, and if fear of something is a factor in your politics, Mr. Kerry, you're a p-ssy too.

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Ragin Cajun

    This is the best argument for guns I have ever seen. Will it curb illegal immigration too? Will it make Kerry quit in protest? If the answer to these questions are yes...MORE GUNS! MORE GUNS! MORE GUNS!

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. Patrick

    Considering that ALL crime rates including violent crimes with guns and murder are at a several decade low, this doesn't make to much sense...

    In fact I would think students from the UK would want to get away from their crime stricken streets and come here for a nice change of pace.

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. zaphed

    so 582-11=571 were homicides by swords then?

    April 15, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  18. Bruce

    American's are afraid of guns too!

    April 15, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Reality Check

    I'm amazed at how many people here have this "Good. Let them stay in their own country" type of response to this article. You people truly are ignorant. Do you realize that a good portion of US Colleges and Universities RELY ON FOREIGN STUDENTS TO KEEP THEIR SCHOOL AFLOAT??? Foreign students often pay higher tuition rates than American citizens! Foreign students IMPROVE the quality of academic life in our nation because they bring a global reality to their studies and offer first hand insight to the world outside the USA. OF COURSE THEY ARE SCARED OF GUNS IN THE USA - OUR COUNTRY IS SEEN AS THE BLOODY WILD WEST TO THE MAJORITY OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD!! Heck - we should ALL be afraid of guns and gun violence as they're prevalent in our nation! We are the global leader when it comes to just about everything - and encouraging foreign students to study here, and foreign tourists to feel safe enough to come and spend their BILLIONS in our country every year! This narrow minded "keep them out" stance is just that. Narrow minded.

    April 15, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. stagger72

    Good. Stay home.

    April 15, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. patrick harrisn

    I agree with them, the US is a crazy place. I wont send my kids to college for the exact same reason, its way to dangerous anymore – gun tootin idiots everywhere

    April 15, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. Kerry

    WOW! Kerry needs to take shove a hamburger with Heinz Ketchup in his mouth instead of talking. JESUS this guy has never made sense. Our Gov needs an enema BADLY!

    April 15, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Chedar

    The only money making scheme in the US university is inviting foreign student to subsidize local student. Since student who pay instate tuition are usually paid at Very low rate, US university needs to recruit foreign student to pay 3-4 times the instate tuition to keep the university afloat.

    April 15, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. David

    Have them stay home, Mr Kerry.

    April 15, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. The Truth

    Best to keep foreign students in their country to continue education in their country. They will probably be better educated there anyways than the US schools. Never know when a bullet will go through a window while studying in the US... US needs all the space for schooling they can as well. Guns kill people from unintelligent controlled hands.

    April 15, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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