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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 10 - 16  > SDF cancels plan to let people hold guns at its events
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2013 April 10 - 16 [SDF]

SDF cancels plan to let people hold guns at its events

April 12, 2013
Due to public criticism, the Ground Self-Defense Force has decided to give up its idea of letting citizens handle guns at its public events.

Kimizuka Eiji, the GSDF Chief of Staff, announced this at a press conference on April 11.

The SDF have displayed arms at public events at their military posts and allowed visitors to aim guns at a target with their fingers on the trigger.

This provoked strong public criticism. A civil group in Tokyo, called “SDF Watch,” filed a criminal complaint on April 10 with the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office against the former defense minister and high-ranking SDF officers. The group charges that these officials violated the gun control law by giving civilians the opportunity to learn how to use firearms.

Kimizuka said that taking into account the criminal charges brought by the citizens’ group, the GSDF decided to just exhibit arms and prevent visitors from touching them.

Meanwhile, the chief of staff expressed his intention to continue providing an experience of ranger training in their events by limiting the training contents to activities like rope walking.

Lawyer Taneda Kazutoshi, the civic group’s leader, said, “Our complaint received widespread support from the general public, which then put pressure on the SDF to reach this decision.”

Taneda also demanded a halt to giving citizens opportunities to experience ranger training, saying, “Those acts aiming to familiarize children with military training go against the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

Related past article:
> Exposure of children to SDF ranger training exercise violates Geneva treaty [April 8, 2013]

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