JAPAN - Eradication of Gun Crime

Arno Froese

If you want to buy a gun in Japan you need patience and determination. You have to attend an all-day class, take a written exam and pass a shooting-range test with a mark of at least 95%.

There are also mental health and drugs tests. Your criminal record is checked and police look for links to extremist groups. Then they check your relatives too—and even your work colleagues. And as well as having the power to deny gun licenses, police also have sweeping powers to search and seize weapons.

Police must be notified where the gun and the ammunition are stored—and they must be stored separately under lock and key. Police will also inspect guns once a year. And after three years your license runs out, at which point you have to attend the course and pass the tests again.

The current gun control law was introduced in 1958, but the idea behind the policy dates back centuries.

“They are the first nation to impose gun laws in the whole world and I think it laid down a bedrock saying that guns really don’t play a part in civilian society,” says Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence and the author of Gun Baby Gun.

People were being rewarded for giving up firearms as far back as 1685, a policy Overton describes as “perhaps the first ever gun buyback initiative.” 

“The moment you have guns in society, you will have gun violence but I think it’s about the quantity," says Overton. “If you have very few guns in society, you will almost inevitably have low levels of violence.”

Japanese police officers rarely use guns and put much greater emphasis on martial arts—all are expected to become a black belt in judo. They spend more time practicing kendo (fighting with bamboo swords) than learning how to use firearms.

“The response to violence is never violence, it’s always to de-escalate it. Only six shots were fired by Japanese police nationwide [in 2015],” says journalist Anthony Berteaux. “What most Japanese police will do is get huge futons and essentially roll up a person who is being violent or drunk into a little burrito and carry them back to the station to calm them down.”

“People assume that peace is always going to exist and when you have a culture like that you don’t really feel the need to arm yourself or have an object that disrupts that peace,” says Berteaux.

According to Iain Overton, the “almost taboo level of rejection” of guns in Japan means that the country is “edging towards a perfect place”—though he points out that Iceland also achieves a very low rate of gun crime, despite a much higher level of gun ownership.

Henrietta Moore of the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London applauds the Japanese for not viewing gun ownership as “a civil liberty,” and rejecting the idea of firearms as “something you use to defend your property against others.”

-www.bbc.com, 6 January 2017

Arno's Commentary

Internationally, Japan is considered a super-successful state. Life expectancy stands at 86 years, and infant mortality is only 1.9 per 1,000 live births. They operate the world’s fourth largest economy, and the per capita GDP stood at $42,900 for 2017. WorldPopulationReview.com lists Japan as having the third lowest crime rate by country for 2020. With the highest crime index at 84.68, Japan stands at 15.91 (USA 46.73). 

Of interest is the fact that Japan’s religion is 70.4% Shintoism, and only 1.5% Christianity. Yet Japan belongs to the group of safest countries in the world.

These facts are important when viewed from the globalist perspective. The tendency for the future world society will be built on the success stories. Thus, Japan will definitely contribute to the new global order, with prevailing peace and security. But, as often mentioned in this column, it’s only temporary, for real peace will only be established when the Prince of Peace comes to Jerusalem, and from there orders the destruction of all weapons, as recorded in Micah 4:3: “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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