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“Since the late 1990s, the number of deer in Japan has jumped from less than 400,000 to more than 3 million,” reports from the “gun free” island nation. “The boar population doubled to 1 million over the same period.” Understandably, Japanese farmers are unhappy about this population explosion.

Japanese farmers have lost up to 23 billion yen ($170 million) annually since 2008 because of rising numbers of deer, boar, monkeys and birds, the Ministry of Agriculture said last month . . .

Farmer Manabu Ushiyachi said he welcomed any hunter, male or female, to help fend off the wild boar that feast on vegetable crops.

“There are farms that have been completely devastated,” he said, adding that attempts to trap the animals had failed . . .

“We’ve tried methods such as building fences or chasing animals away to minimise their deaths, but it wasn’t enough,” said Kazuhiro Akiba, head of the ministry’s Wildlife Management Office in Tokyo . . .

Of Japan’s 105,000 registered hunters, two-thirds are 60 or older, and only 1,169 are female, according to the National Hunting Association, which counted 500,000 hunters in the 1970s.

The answer? Women hunters, apparently.

The national association’s website has a blog page titled “Aspire to be a Female Hunter!”, where women write about their hunting experiences. One writer noted the “kind gesture” when she found portable toilets for female hunters in rest huts.

In some prefectures, women can sign up for hunting courses or join a hunting tour.


I don’t think that’s going to do it. But you’ve got to wonder if this desire for pest species eradication will lead to a loosening of Japan’s anti-gun regulations. And then stop wondering.

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      • Your confusing Japanese with Chinese…… the Japanese eat anything that comes out of the ocean. They used to view deer as sacred, now their just thought of as cuddly semi-wild pets by many.

        • Dolphins, for example. [insertswarmysmilehere] But yeah, the rest of Asia will eat anything on four legs. Two legs. Actually, it probably doesn’t need legs and it would still get eaten.

  1. You know…. I see this as a double solution. Declare open season on these animals, and use the meat to offset the loss in crops the farmers have suffered. Having too much prey hardly sounds like a problem… I mean the problem shouldn’t exist. That is valuable meat.

  2. Japan is not gun free. You can buy rifles and shotguns and you can hunt. Few Japanese choose to do either one. The number of hunters in Japan has been declining, and as you’d find in the U.S. the deer population is exploding in suburban places where hunting grounds are hard to find and virtually everything is within a safety zone or off limits to hunting.

        • Except no one has been granted a rifle license since like the mid-1960s. Only people who had rifle licenses before that cutoff date and have been renewing them since then are allowed to own rifles.

        • “Civilians may also apply for licenses to possess air rifles–low-power guns that are powered by carbon dioxide rather than by gunpowder.
          Civilians can never own handguns. Small calibre rifles were once legal, but in 1971, the Government forbade all transfers of rifles. Current rifle license holders may continue to own them, but their heirs must turn them into the police when the license-holder dies.[13] Total remaining rifle licenses are 27,000.[14] Even shotguns and air rifles, the two legal types of firearm, are becoming rarer and rarer, as few people find it worthwhile to pass through a burdensome gun licensing process. The number of licensed shotguns and air rifles declined from 652,000 in 1981 to 493,373 in 1989.[15]”

    • That was the first thought in my primitive mind…
      A Japanese yumi (traditional samurai bow) is on my list of designs to experiment with whenever I can score some nice bamboo I can work with. Wonder what a gaijin like me would have to do to get my mitts on a Japanese hunting license?

        • “Personally, I’ll only shoot deer I know I can eat (or give to friends to eat), but I can understand the locals’ willingness to simply want the deer shot, whether they end up on the dinner table or not. In light of the overpopulation, daily quotas have gradually been phased out. This year, you can shoot up to two stags per day, every day, for four and a half months, should you so desire. There is no limit on the number of female deer (hinds) or boar that you can shoot.”

          Huh? What? In that protein hungry country there’s a shortage of people to eat deer?

          It seems like the farmers would gladly eat or distribute all the meat you could shoot.
          I don’t know about venison, but beef is a HIGHLY desired luxury item, girls I went to college with would fill their suitcases with frozen t-bones, sirloin and strip steaks, wrapped in towels for insulation, when they flew home for Christmas break (pre-TSA, I don’t know if a 20 year old Japanese girl can easily smuggle meat into checked luggage on an international flight or get it through Customs in Japan today).

  3. I almost hit a deer today. In heavily populated Cook Co,IL. Because you can’t shoot the damn walking rats here. And I got a shotgun loaded with buckshot.It ain’t just Japan…

  4. It’s up to the people in rural Japan if they want to hunt with rifles and shotguns. I wouldn’t imagine the city folk would like that idea, they’d probably rather build a robot to chase the animals away, but that’s not a solution that can have an effect tomorrow.

    Japanese are sensible people, they should have the common sense to understand that a farmer with a .308 isn’t going to commit mass murder. I think the problem here is that Japanese wanted to “move forward” and not rely on hunting as a means to thrive and survive.

    • No, the Japanese have always known that gun control (and sword control) is nothing but a pleb control measure, just like the British, but despite all the “every Japanese person is a glorious samurai!” jingo crap of the early Showa era, in reality everyone in Japan is treated as a pleb unless they’re head of a zaibatsu or a politician. Gun laws in Japan have been basically the same way for about 400 years, and unless there is a zombie apocalypse or a Chinese invasion, their cultural attitude towards real weapons will never change.

  5. Too bad. It would be great if Japan let people freely own whatever guns they wanted to because it would be yet another proof of the utilitarian pro gun argument. Clearly nothing would change in the murder rate because of nature of Japanese society and culture. Then again, the many men who commit suicide there would switch from subways and roofs to guns. And the occasional mass knifing would switch to mass shooting and the anti’s would have a field day.

    Japanese organized crime still have no problem getting guns though. They murdered the mayor of Nagasaki with one like 10 years ago.

    • I remember that, the shooting of the mayor in Japan.

      Yeah, it’s true, but the problem here is reducing wildlife populations. If the solution was making modern muzzleloaders illegal to own, I’d be fine with that. Baby steps to undo a 400 year history of disarmament.

  6. If you want nice guns cheap, buy them from the wholesaler in Japan authorized to take/buy them from people who have let their gun permits lapse. I know of some American military personnel who have taken advantage of that and got some nice stuff.

  7. While stationed in Japan (9 years) two of my friends (Japanese nationals) had them, both over unders for trap/skeet. Cost between 20-30K, and had to prove secure storage and seperate secure storage for ammo. Had to present them to Police station annually for inspection including pencil tracing of serno, measure of barrel length and you get to pay for the inspection. They were not hunters, just club shooters. No idea about hunting regulations, but would imagine pretty draconian.

  8. Ohhhh, “3m” means 3 million. I need coffee, I saw the headline and thought “3m? Like double-sided sticky, or wet-or-dry?”

  9. If the regulations don’t push the cost beyond feasibility, why don’t those devastated hunters get hunting licenses?

    I understand that all the hunters are old because they got their licenses 30-50 years ago under looser rules, but are the current rules for arming yourself and hunting really more costly than the crop damage if you’re one of the more severely affected farmers?


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