19-year-old Ground Self-Defense Force member dies in apparent suicide


A 19-year-old private in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) was found collapsed on Sunday, after apparently having shot himself while on guard duty at Camp Higashi-Tachikawa in Tachikawa City, Tokyo,.

According to police reports, another GSDF member heard shots fired near the main gate at around 10:40 a.m., Kyodo News reported. He ran to the scene and found the private on the floor of the security booth, with two bullet wounds to his head. He was rushed to hospital where he died shortly after 12 p.m.

The GSDF said the man is believed to have committed suicide by using the rifle he was carrying at the time. Investigators said that two bullets were fired from the rifle.

According to officials at Camp Higashi-Tachikawa, the private was alone on guard duty at the main gate on Sunday morning. All guards carry a rifle while on duty.

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

He shot had shots to the head twice and it was ruled a suicide? Detective Clouseau on the case again?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

No way can it be suicide with two shots, surely!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

As other posters keep noting, these sorts of reports should be accompanied by a link and phone number to a crisis center.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Okay, Google says suicides of multiple gunshots wounds are rare but not unheard of. One guy shot himself 8 times in the head before dying.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That is terrible. I am sure his family is devastated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He shot had shots to the head twice and it was ruled a suicide? Detective Clouseau on the case again?

Perhaps it was an automatic rifle. Anybody know what rifles they carry while on guard duty? A Howa?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The current SDF rifle is the Japanese-manufactured Howa type 89 rifles, compatible with 5.56 × 45mm NATO rounds.

It may be fired in semi-automatic, three-round bursts and fully automatic.

The weapon may have discharged at least 2 rounds before the soldier released the weapon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

19 years old, too young to smoke and buy a beer but old enough to be in charge of an assault rifle in public.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In the 1980s.

When my older brother was on guard duty with another at the gate.

The other one accidentality discharged his weapon in the pillar box and the round bounced around.

Neither were hurt, luckily.

So could the gun have went off in error ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )


The booth is still narrow with only room to stand. No sitting is allowed.

The rifle is not displayed to the passing public.

A second soldier stands outside at the gate to stop incoming traffic and give instructions.

Cameras are positioned facing outward toward any approaching the gate.陸上自衛隊-東立川駐屯地-jgsdf-camp-higashitachikawa/4d350d74c6cba35d0041397a?openPhotoId=5d3816774bf1b10008ffa596

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lets be honest, and lets be real, we have all the non gun experts implying this cannot be a suicide. I am willing to bet more than half have never shot a gun before or perhaps own one. Some guns are designed where the cocking mechanism fires off rounds as long as you pull the trigger and let go. Now use part of your imagination.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I shot rifles and shotguns from as a kid in Western Pennsylvania shooting cans and whatnot. I guess if the first shot was non-lethal somehow a person could shoot again. In any case it is a tragedy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suicide or accident, both should be investigated

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No beer, no cigarettes, no one to talk to, no potential enemy or intruder in sight, no family or friends or girlfriend really waiting for return, no career or income chances as a low private, of course also no books allowed, the same for manga, music player, smartphone and all such…What else can you do on guard or patrol to end the hours long boredom while on the worldwide most boring army guard? Developing suicidal thoughts and playing around a bit with the gun is the only option to end the multiple factors torture once and for all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites