Some Offenders Get Crossbows for Murder Purposes: Panel

Society

Tokyo, Sept. 23 (Jiji Press)--Offenders in recent crossbow-related crimes in Japan obtained the weapon mainly online for murder or other purposes, an analysis by a panel appointed by the National Police Agency showed Wednesday.

The analysis was shared at a meeting of the panel of experts on crossbow regulations the same day. The panel meeting, the first of its kind, came after four people were killed or injured in a crossbow attack in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, in June.

Crossbows are not regulated under the swords and firearms control act in Japan. As of the end of August, 23 of the country's 47 prefectures restricted sales of crossbows to people aged under 18, under local ordinances.

According to the NPA, Japanese police handled 32 cases linked to crossbows between January 2010 and June this year, including the Takarazuka attack. Six people were killed in the cases and 11 were injured.

Police identified the means of acquisition of crossbows in 23 of the total cases. In 19 of the cases, the offenders obtained the weapon via the internet.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press