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. larry

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

    Well, Boo freaking Hoo!

    April 15, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. SkyKing169

    1/3 of CMU students are Asian.
    They bring int a lot of money to this country.
    But if their numbers decrease by a handful, it won't really make much of a difference.
    And the drug trade driven gun incidents don't generally happen around the CMU campus.

    April 15, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. ragged andy

    don't this foreigners know that it's safer here? every one for himself and the devil take the hindmost!

    April 15, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. RINO Bill

    What scared this U.S. Citizen was John Kerry pathetically claiming to be a hunter (in borrowed clothes nonetheless!) just to get a few more votes in the 2004 election.

    The man's credibility is totally gone ... and in record time too!.

    I'd believe anything Dick Cheney says these days over the lies John Kerry is spewing out.

    April 15, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Adam

    Don't like it? Stay in your own country and enjoy wiping your rear end with your hand.

    April 15, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. StandUp4YourRights

    Well, they should fell better about it then they used to. Crime has dropped by 50% over the last twenty years.

    April 15, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. Joe Biden

    John Kerry scares me!

    April 15, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  8. J Brown

    Kerry's an idiot. "People running around with guns?" Oh yes let's take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens, gawd knows Mr & Ms Average Citizen run around shooting people all the time but let's leave the biggest gun toting problem in our country untouched – gangs. Get off your collective pedestals, live in the real world and do something to help this country rather than yourselves for once.
    Have some additional news for you Mr. Kerry the reason many foreigners don't send their kids to our universities is the simple fact is we don't offer a top notch education in this country anymore.
    We already place behind third world countries in math and science. How much lower can we sink?

    April 15, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. SantaAna

    Brilliant Kerry-go hide in your chateau----

    April 15, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. ThinkingofBoston

    what about bombs? are those ok? Obbiously if we had more common sense laws around explosives ownership tragedies like today's wouldn't have happened, right? (hope you can read the sarcasm).

    April 15, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  11. Fubarack

    Time for Kerry to lose the long face, and get serious about important matters. The gun grab is over. It died at about 2:50 pm eastern time.

    April 15, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. Mike

    How about bombs Secretary Kerry. Do bombs scare foreign students? So glad he didn't get elected President.

    April 15, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. bribarian

    This is more of a case for the NRA and guns, America is full.

    April 15, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Ben in SoCal

    Then they don't have to come here. SImple as that. Yet again, the Left wanting to alter our society to favor globalizationists.

    April 15, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. NightWisp

    So stay home or even better, go to as nice gun banned country like Mexico. We need the space for our students.

    Mr Kerry. That is a feeble attempt for gun control. I would say, would not mke the top ten on US citizens.. I do not give a care list. problem reaction solution...

    April 15, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Just Me

    Forces is the ultimate in diplomacy; to prove my point look through history for the civilizations that do not exist anymore. Another example would be look at what is happening in Syria today. I don't know what the gun laws in Syria were before the revolution started. But, I would be curious to know if Syrians were allowed to own guns? A single person with a gun can do a lot of damage; but 3 million people can do a lot of good for their country. Our forefathers knew this; but were willing to put up with the danger of the individual for the ultimate cost of freedom for the people.

    April 15, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Steveh09

    Guns in the US aren't new. It's the anti-gun people who are yelling louder.

    April 15, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |

    Well Heck Kerry; How about all US Americans toss our guns, roll out a red carpet, kneel and kiss the feet of all these scared students, we can even open our homes and give our daughters to them, better yet, how about Americans just drop dead when we inconvenience foreign students, then you can give them our homes and bank accounts. Kerry is an idiot.
    If they are not happy with the way America is, they can go somewhere else.

    April 15, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  19. Jim

    PR, I would much rather have legal, paying foreign students than illegal aliens who are now getting in-state tuition, even though they're not American citizens, let alone legal aliens.

    April 15, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Sherri

    Safer than going to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt etc.
    I would not go to those places if you PAID me! For vacation or study.

    April 15, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. Duke of Disgrace

    John Kerry ... the same man who was just as much a traitor to Vietnam as Jane Fonda. I have travelled overseas, and I can tell you I feel safer in the U.S. than I do most countries.

    April 15, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Joey

    When I was a student in Boston the white kids from the neighborhood housing project killed an Asian grad student with a knife. They threw rocks at cars and when that car stopped and the kid got out they chased him and killed him. As Kerry and Obama well know, the bad guys in Boston don't need guns to be violent cretins.

    April 15, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Harold

    How about the millions of Americans on the border and in big cities afraid of illegal criminal foreigners. The out of control gang bangers. The drug smugglers. The rapists, The murderers. It's a pretty strange world where the fears of Americans in their own country are second rate to foreigners who have no right to be here in the first place.

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. J_lebowski

    It turns out the foreign students were scarred because they thought Frankenstein was after them. Then they realized it was Kerry.

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Jimbo

    What is hilarious to me, is that if you take these students to the range and show them how to use firearms safely, they typically think they're pretty great. The only cure for fear born from ignorance is education.

    April 15, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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