Biden compares US and Japanese gun crime stats after assassination of former Prime Minister Abe

President Biden said on Friday that Abe's assassination was "the first use of a weapon to murder someone in Japan."

Joshua Young North Carolina

After a Friday proclamation announcing an Executive Order on abortion, President Biden was asked about the recent assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Biden said of the shooting, "one thing did strike my—get my attention, that this is the first use of a weapon to murder someone in Japan. And I think we have thus far 3000—don't hold me to the numbers—688. Or between three and 4,000 cases. They have one."

Biden also released a statement where he mourned the death of Abe, saying: "I am stunned, outraged, and deeply saddened by the news that my friend Abe Shinzo, former Prime Minister of Japan, was shot and killed while campaigning. This is a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him. I had the privilege to work closely with Prime Minister Abe. As Vice President, I visited him in Tokyo and welcomed him to Washington. He was a champion of the Alliance between our nations and the friendship between our people."

On Friday former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot twice with a crude, homemade shotgun by Tetsuya Yamagami, A 41-year-old former Maritime Self-Defense Force member.

Yamagami made his makeshift shotgun to circumvent Japan's strict gun laws, which are one component of what Vox described as a "some very troubling criminal justice practices" in a 2015 exposé on why Japan maintains low crime stats. Japan does not have due process and lacks many other rights afforded to the accused in America.

The United States is about 26 times larger than the nation of Japan which adopted a democratic system of government in 1947, complete with three branches of government. Japan is an ethnically homogeneous country that maintains statistically low crime with theft being the most common crime across the country.

Violent crime in Japan has been on the decline since the 1980s and has a record of gun deaths per capita at around 0.03 per 100,000 people. In 2018 the country had a total of nine firearm weapon related deaths.

Japan has had a string of mass stabbings with blade weapons, especially in 2019, and a history of systemic organized crime. As popularized in the recent HBO miniseries "Tokyo Vice," reporter Jake Edelstein covered Japan's culture of covering up crime stats.

According to Pew, the last year with reliable and complete gun statistics in America was 2020 where 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries out of a population of 329.5 million people. That figure murders, suicide, and lesser obscure reasons for gun death.

The gun homicide rate of the United States doesn't break the top ten countries with the highest gun homicides statistically.


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