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Weapons

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Weapons

Postby BetterSense » Sat 01.10.2009 7:14 am

I'm an American. Texan actually, by way of Montana. As a matter of course, I have always carried daily several folding knives which are very useful to me. Very often, I carry a handgun which in the freer states of the US is quite legal, if subject to the whimsical and glorious vagaries of federal and state law.

My wife and I have at times considered visiting Japan or participating in an English teaching program. I'm quite sure firearms are completely illegal either for possession or carry. I'm not positive about knives, though. Since Japan so very safe in comparison with, say, Dallas, and wild animals are probably not going to be a big threat like in Montana, I could imagine living gun-free with a little adjustment. However, I get downright cranky without my knives, which I've been carrying whenever I had clothes on since I was 8. I hope knives are a little less illegal? I mean what about the sword-culture thing? My very favorite knives are even made in Seki, Japan.

What's the overall picture of gun, knife, and other weapon laws in Japan, that is, regionally, how (un)liberal are they, common 'gotchas' that one might not be aware of, etc.
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Re: Weapons

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sat 01.10.2009 10:36 am

Illegal. Foreigners are not going to come into Japan with weapons.
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Re: Weapons

Postby NocturnalOcean » Sat 01.10.2009 10:45 am

Yudan Taiteki wrote:Illegal. Foreigners are not going to come into Japan with weapons.


And a good thing that is. A person having a weapon might feel safer(?), but I feel unsafer.
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Re: Weapons

Postby keatonatron » Sat 01.10.2009 12:28 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:And a good thing that is. A person having a weapon might feel safer(?), but I feel unsafer.


Your question mark should have come after the non-word "unsafer" :D

If you really can't live without your knives, I would say ween yourself off of them or give up on coming to Japan. Of course you could probably walk around with a concealed knife with no problems, but if the cops see it (or are called because someone else saw it) you would probably be arrested, and that's one road you really don't want to go down.

We're used to the way legal issues work in the States (like Miranda rights), but things are different here. From what I've heard you can be held in jail for a considerable amount of time (i.e. multiple weeks) before even being charged with anything... and jail here is NOT pleasant.

Maybe we could interest you in a nice little folding pocket knife? If it's under 2 inches you shouldn't have any problems :D
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Re: Weapons

Postby BetterSense » Sat 01.10.2009 1:10 pm

Foreigners are not going to come into Japan with weapons

The heart of the matter here is what Japan considers weapons, which, legally, is usually non-obvious (at least to me). I don't consider my pocket knives weapons.

Maybe we could interest you in a nice little folding pocket knife? If it's under 2 inches you shouldn't have any problems

I'm very interested in nice little folding pocket knives, that's my main concern. My favorite one actually has a 1-7/8" blade. Is the 2-inches figure a legal reality or just your estimation of what would be prudent?

A person having a weapon might feel safer(?), but I feel unsafer.

Most Americans don't consider pocket knives weapons no carry them in order to feel safer. But that doesn't matter if Japan disagrees.
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Re: Weapons

Postby keatonatron » Sat 01.10.2009 2:48 pm

If you're talking about pocket knives, then the title of this thread is quite misleading.

I don't think a <2" blade is considered a weapon anywhere in the US... And doubt it would be any different in Japan. You can even put it in your checked luggage on the plane, so there's really no problem that I can see. :?
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Re: Weapons

Postby BetterSense » Sat 01.10.2009 5:27 pm

If you're talking about pocket knives, then the title of this thread is quite misleading.

Laws regulating the carry and possession of knives are generally considered weapon laws; at least in the US, they are almost always in the section of laws that regulates weapons. Even most states in the US have knife laws.

If knives less than 2 inches are really entirely legal throughout Japan, that's great news, but I wouldn't presume to know that. What about assisted opening knives? Knives with 3" blades? Are kitchen knives entirely legal (the UK has laws about kitchen knives).
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Re: Weapons

Postby inuinu » Sat 01.10.2009 6:42 pm

http://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1110886856?fr=rcmd_chie_detail

あくまでも「総合的判断」によるようです。
「所持の仕方」や「その人物の風体」などの「状況」によって
「逮捕される確率」が増えていく、という感じですね。

いかにも怪しそうな人物で、ナイフ所持以外にも何か悪いことをしていそうな疑いがあれば
「とりあえず銃刀法違反で逮捕をしておいて、他の犯罪をあぶりだす時間を稼ぐ」というようなことも
あるかもしれません。
捕まるか捕まらないかは、ちょっとしたことで左右される微妙なことなのだから、
ナイフを持っている理由をきちんと説明できる言語能力や状況証拠がないのなら
最初から持たないほうが無難でしょうね。

「君子危うきに近寄らず」です。
tasukeru kotoga dekiru nara
tasuketai to omou.
dakedo eigo ha nigate.
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Re: Weapons

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 01.10.2009 8:52 pm

Leave your knives at home. The concept of carrying a pocket knife is pretty much entirely unknown here. I can't recall ever having met anyone here who carries one and I would guess that close to 100% of the men here have never even possessed one.

This news item indicates that the law has recently been modified to ban the carrying without a permit of any knife with a blade of over 5.5cm (2 1/8 inches), punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment (you don't want to know what a Japanese prison is like) and/or fines up to 500,000 yen.
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Re: Weapons

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.12.2009 10:25 am

Mike Cash wrote:Leave your knives at home. The concept of carrying a pocket knife is pretty much entirely unknown here. I can't recall ever having met anyone here who carries one and I would guess that close to 100% of the men here have never even possessed one.

This news item indicates that the law has recently been modified to ban the carrying without a permit of any knife with a blade of over 5.5cm (2 1/8 inches), punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment (you don't want to know what a Japanese prison is like) and/or fines up to 500,000 yen.


2 1/8 inch blades huh? That pretty much puts a ban on anything but a penknife. I know most of my pocket knives have blades of 3 1/2 inches or longer, and with the exception of the knives on my military gear, I never did have any pocket/fixed blade knives while in Japan.

Now, I wonder how easy/difficult it is to get a permit to carry a knife with a longer blade for natives or for foreigners?
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Re: Weapons

Postby NocturnalOcean » Mon 01.12.2009 10:38 am

two_heads_talking wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:Leave your knives at home. The concept of carrying a pocket knife is pretty much entirely unknown here. I can't recall ever having met anyone here who carries one and I would guess that close to 100% of the men here have never even possessed one.

This news item indicates that the law has recently been modified to ban the carrying without a permit of any knife with a blade of over 5.5cm (2 1/8 inches), punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment (you don't want to know what a Japanese prison is like) and/or fines up to 500,000 yen.


2 1/8 inch blades huh? That pretty much puts a ban on anything but a penknife. I know most of my pocket knives have blades of 3 1/2 inches or longer, and with the exception of the knives on my military gear, I never did have any pocket/fixed blade knives while in Japan.

Now, I wonder how easy/difficult it is to get a permit to carry a knife with a longer blade for natives or for foreigners?

What's the use of carrying a knife? Either you use the knife in your own home, or you use it at your workplace, no need carrying around knives in the street.
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Re: Weapons

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.12.2009 12:19 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:What's the use of carrying a knife? Either you use the knife in your own home, or you use it at your workplace, no need carrying around knives in the street.


As a person who does carry a pocket knife (lockblade type) and has carried one since a child, there are many uses for a pocket knife. I even keep one in my car, in my safety/first-aid kit, and one in my 72 hour kit. Ican't tell you number of times, that I've forgotten my pocket knife and then needed it..
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Re: Weapons

Postby NocturnalOcean » Mon 01.12.2009 1:19 pm

Obviously you can always find uses for an object you carry on you. If I start going around with a lasso, I am sure I can find lots of uses for it as well. However I think carrying weapons, blades or whatever does not have any really important use that makes it worth carrying around when you are in the public.
I am grown up in Norway, where carrying weapons are illegal, and I have to admit that makes me feel a lot safer. If I knew that everyone was allowed to carry weapons, no matter how small it was, I would instantly feel a lot less safe.
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Re: Weapons

Postby AJBryant » Mon 01.12.2009 1:20 pm

It's one of Gibbs' rules. ALWAYS carry your knife.


Tony
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Re: Weapons

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 01.12.2009 3:04 pm

NocturnalOcean wrote:Obviously you can always find uses for an object you carry on you. If I start going around with a lasso, I am sure I can find lots of uses for it as well. However I think carrying weapons, blades or whatever does not have any really important use that makes it worth carrying around when you are in the public.
I am grown up in Norway, where carrying weapons are illegal, and I have to admit that makes me feel a lot safer. If I knew that everyone was allowed to carry weapons, no matter how small it was, I would instantly feel a lot less safe.


Well, that would be where we differ. I grew up in a country that allows them. do I feel any less safe? Nope..

I'd like it to be able to carry my sidearm too (pistol) but I am content to using it in the firing ranges etc..

One of my aquantances was arrested and deported from Japan when he had an colt 1911 sent to Japan in pieces.. So, trying to sneak handguns or illegal weapons into country is completely illogical.
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