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. Had Enough

    I am afraid of snakes... All politicians must stay out of my city.

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Bobbie

    Simple solution: Don't come here.

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. westsacvoice

    Nice to know people are not only ignorant but also isolationists. I think the biggest lesson is from the posts which indicates we need less foreign students and more domestic students going to our universities. People here are just clueless.

    Some comments simply cemented the ongoing perception the world has of us that we don't care.
    – Who cares about them dang foreigners. They can all stay off my country, get off my property, etc. –

    People don't get it...it is now a global community. If we want to reduce our deficit, we need to eliminate our trade deficit which means we have to sell to other countries which includes our education.

    There is too much attention paid to "rights" and the individual and less towards knowledge and contributing to society.

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. pouremile

    What you guys are not aware of is that universities and colleges make more money off the foreign students than the US born. Something none of you knows obviously.

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. David

    Who the heck cares. Let them stay home. Maybe the colleges will have to lower prices so US student can afford to attend.

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Ed

    Really tired of hearing about other people from out of the US and what they think. Students from other countries usually come here for free and spend our tax dollars to complain about how they don't like it here. Please stay home and complain about your own social suffering, poverty, and violence. I am so sick of the negative dialog about our second amendment that it makes me sick. Don't like it get out!!!

    The politician of today is nothing but a self absorbed opportunist. We need people to lead us away from the opportunist and find real leaders for the people. All we have are puppets looking for the next brass ring

    April 15, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. danshaw4

    Unlike many countries, we have the right to carry guns-they should know that before they come here.They should also know that 99.999% of the guns in this country are never used in the commission of any crimes. I f they can't handle one of the basic freedoms of Americans, then they should stay home. I'm not giving up my freedoms to make them more comfortable.

    April 15, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. vad

    Then maybe the leftist media should stop making it seem like violent crime is increasing in the U.S. FBI statistics clearly indicate violent crime is decreasing for several years now. What the media decides to focus on has a big impact on the uneducated mind. Like Jim Carry. If I spelled his name wrong please forgive me, I don't deem him worthy enough of a simple Google search to bother looking him up.

    April 15, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. kcaywood

    A decrease in foreign students hurts the U.S. Nine out of 10 commenters here apparently see no value in foreign exchange. Pretty dismal to see how so many of my "countrymen" think. Have you "just go home" commenters ever studied overseas? Have you ever hosted an exchange student? Obviously not.

    April 15, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Cindi

    Well, they can go home. This is the USA, I would not want to live anywhere else. Yes the USA is not perfect, but is better other countries.

    April 15, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. veggiedude

    Reminds me of the time the British were laughing at Sylvester Stallone who cancelled his trip over because a couple bombs went off in London. This was around 1986, and he was suppose to be Rambo. A blast going off in Boston is big news. In London, its par for the course. Business as usual. They found it funny because statistically he was far more likely to be murdered in his hometown than in London.

    April 15, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. foreign student

    I am a foreign student and I can tell you this news is crap! This is America... Youve got Hollywood and Harvard and NFL and hot white women... whos scared of guns? all countries have violence... now americas so good, i dont know why kerry has to say this, and cnn has to propagate... roller coasters.. now thats scary!

    April 15, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. marctheduck

    Maybe that's a good thing because today foreign students scare me.

    April 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Tristan

    Maybe it is the economy too? In any case, our country is a little scary. Angry, armed and ignorant...

    April 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Sandra LeVin

    If they are so frightened, let them remain foreign students.

    April 15, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Jon t

    They should feel safe, John Kerry can shield them from any bullets with his enormous jaw, surrounding them like a loving mother caressing her babe in her bosom.

    April 15, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. TiredOfPaying

    Good. Let them be scared. They should be.

    April 15, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. RINO Bill

    By making this statement John Kerry has diminished the office of Secretary of State ... and graphically demonstrated his own ignorance.

    April 15, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. jetfuel4

    I wonder if Kerry will put himself in for another medal again ???

    April 15, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. edwatson44

    Honestly who cares let them study in their own country...We don't need them in ours!!!!!

    April 15, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. Jo

    For some reason I am supposed to be concerned that they are "worried" to be in my country? Seriously, you liberals are so arrogant that you are driving disillusioned independents like myself into the arms of the GOP. The Second Amendment is not negotiable, PERIOD!

    April 15, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. Glen

    Please ask yourself simple question bellow and try to answer honestly to yourself:

    Will you give up your gun if it helps to save kids in CT?

    April 15, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. bob_lawbla

    Is their no game that the Progressive liberals and likeminded media won't play to enforce their lies?
    How sad things have become for this country.

    April 15, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. The REAL Truth...

    The number of brainwashed RW nuts posting here today is as prominent as the fear and ignorance being displayed.

    April 15, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Vickie Short

    Then let them stay home. Who gives a hairy rats axx!

    April 15, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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