Japan Police to Launch Expert Panel on Crossbow Regulations

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's National Police Agency on Thursday decided to launch a panel of experts to discuss regulations on crossbows, including their possession, after four people were killed or injured in a crossbow attack in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, in June.

The panel will compile a report by the end of the year after holding about four meetings. The first session is scheduled for Sept. 23.

Between January 2010 and June this year, Japanese police took action, including arrest, in 32 cases related to crossbows. Meanwhile, the possession of crossbows is not regulated under existing laws, such as the swords and firearms control act, and current measures are limited to bans on sales to those aged under 18, imposed by 23 prefectures under ordinances as of the end of August.

The NPA will consider ramping up regulations, such as through law revisions, based on the report from the panel, which comprises seven members including a lawyer, a scholar and a representative of sports using crossbows.

Of the 32 crossbow-related cases in the past 10 years, 13 involved murder and human injuries, 10 were related to intimidation or property damage, and nine involved animal killing or other acts in violation of the animal welfare act or breaches of other laws such as the minor offenses act, according to the NPA.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press