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Japanese authorities urge caution after wild bears attack several people in the northeast

28 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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28 Comments
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I think it's funny that the occurrence of this coincides with the whole "alone in the woods with a man or a bear" debate recently.

Nonetheless, a big part of the reason I choose the urban lifestyle over the wilderness adventure are reasons like this. Nature is scary.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

There was a sign in Toronga Zoo in Sydney that held my attention:

"We didn't leave them anywhere to live."

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The reason I (and the whole world) choose bear spray and not tinkle-bells.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japanese police carry .38 Specials. Not exactly a cannon, but it could do some damage.

I guess they aren't too quick to the draw.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Of the several aspects of Japan that needs to be corrected (dual citizenship, joint custody-which seems now happening) one area that needs a serious upgrading is wildlife management.

In Japan the police are assigned the task of dealing with bears. They are trained to police humans, not animals. The firearms they carry 38/9mm are not capable of stopping, much less downing, a bear if necessary.

So the police call in these Hunting Clubs who have slug guns and rifles to deal with bears. Which poses another issue because these hunters are invariably old.

Japan needs to create a conservation/forestry service, ie "forest rangers" who are fully educated and trained in dealing with wildlife issues.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japanese police carry .38 Specials. Not exactly a cannon, but it could do some damage.

The .38sp Japanese cops carry only holds 6 rounds and would probably just make the bear more angry.

To take down a bear, I wouldn’t choose anything smaller than a 30.06, or 7.62NATO.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

So the police call in these Hunting Clubs who have slug guns and rifles to deal with bears. Which poses another issue because these hunters are invariably old.

Good point. Why not make more effective weapons available to police officers with specific training for the purpose? They don't have to carry them on the beat. In fact, I'd prefer they didn't, seeing how many revolvers get left in convenience store bathrooms.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Honestly, if bear attacks continue to be a problem in the mountainous regions and it is affecting residents, it may be time for them to consider legalizing rifles. They can keep them banned in the cities, I think that's a fair compromise, but otherwise no more J-Nanny state.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Honestly, if bear attacks continue to be a problem in the mountainous regions and it is affecting residents, it may be time for them to consider legalizing rifles. They can keep them banned in the cities, I think that's a fair compromise, but otherwise no more J-Nanny state.

Rifles are legal. Expensive, tedious, and time consuming to get, but legal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It’s amazing how small they are, we had one in the garden last week….it wasn’t taller than the Doberman hot on its heels chasing it out of the garden. We hardly used to see them until about 3-4 years ago but now we see them every spring & autumn.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just leave the bears in peace..

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It must be nice there, in northeast… romantic and mysterious landscapes alluring sea and nature… a nice place to reside :)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not only bears, but also deer and wild boars are increasing, and they are considered pests that destroy crops and need to be exterminated. Damages exceed $2.5 billion each year

However, the hunting club is aging and there are very few young people participating.

In order to own a rifle, a hunting license must be renewed for 10 years, and the reality is that it is difficult to obtain one.

Furthermore, it is not legal to fire a gun in urban areas.

In the future, damage not only caused by bears but also other wild animals will continue to increase.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

People moving out of rural areas means more wildlife! It's good!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

In Japan the police are assigned the task of dealing with bears. They are trained to police humans, not animals. The firearms they carry 38/9mm are not capable of stopping, much less downing, a bear if necessary.

That's close, but not entirely correct.

The bear will die, but quite possibly not before attacking you. Bear spray has been proven to be the best defense, U.S. Park Rangers have extensive experience. I trust that.

Most Japanese hunters have shotguns. 12 gauge buckshot is what I would prefer between myself and an attacking bear, but it takes practice with the gun to shoot well under such a stressful experience.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just leave the bears in peace..

When they go shopping?

"Black bear shot and killed in mall 13 hours after sneaking in"

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13856819

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It's not necessary to hunt down and kill a bears to placate a largely ignorant and overly cautious - (due to an over-bear..ing.. 

 government ) - populace.

    

     'Bear' spray does what it says on the tin and is very effective. The two cops - although I sympathise with their predicament - were obviously operating beyond their capabilities. 

     And what qualifies me to make this comment I hear you ask; I'm an ex- Para and Park Ranger and have had multiple encounters with bears in the Japanese mountains, each time we've peacefully gone our separate ways. Act like 'prey' or be perceived as a threat.. then 'Darwinism' will decide the outcome.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And what qualifies me to make this comment I hear you ask; I'm an ex- Para and Park Ranger and have had multiple encounters with bears in the Japanese mountains, each time we've peacefully gone our separate ways. Act like 'prey' or be perceived as a threat.. then 'Darwinism' will decide the outcome.

Please stop advising others how to handle such situations. Bears are wild animals, and even though their behavior is somewhat predictable they will surprise you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So the police call in these Hunting Clubs who have slug guns and rifles to deal with bears. Which poses another issue because these hunters are invariably old.

Japan needs to create a conservation/forestry service, ie "forest rangers" who are fully educated and trained in dealing with wildlife issues.

Slug guns are rifles under Japanese law. Air powered pellet rifles as well. If it has rifling you can't have it without obtaining and maintaining a shotgun license for ten years first.

If you would like for Japan to protect you from this danger, please, educate yourself before advocating.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Slug guns are rifles under Japanese law. Air powered pellet rifles as well. If it has rifling you can't have it without obtaining and maintaining a shotgun license for ten years first.

Air rifles and slug guns are exempt from the 10 year rifle restriction as they don’t use jacketed ammunition, and have an effective range of less than 200m.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unless the restrictions have changed within the last 15 years since I got my Japanese firearms license.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Although attacks are allegedly occurring more in the north-east, there are bears throughout Japan, with even a few left in Shikoku, although those in Kyushu are said to have died out in the 1950s.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Air rifles and slug guns are exempt from the 10 year rifle restriction as they don’t use jacketed ammunition, and have an effective range of less than 200m.

Thank you for that information. I understand that you have discussed this with the Police at least 15 times while you've had your license. Can you find an online source for this, because all I'm finding is that some prefectures (Hokkaido) apply the law differently.

To own half-rifles, which are currently legal for beginner gun owners, people will be required to have a record of possessing a hunting gun license for at least 10 consecutive years, the same as the requirement for owning rifles under the current law.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2024/03/01/japan/bill-adopted-to-punish-encouraging-gun-ownership/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You can shoot slugs through a smoothbore shotgun. Rifled shotguns are typically referred to as slug guns, so it is a bit confusing. For me, at least,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ForevermoreToday  06:40 am JST

So the police call in these Hunting Clubs who have slug guns and rifles to deal with bears. Which poses another issue because these hunters are invariably old.

Japan needs to create a conservation/forestry service, ie "forest rangers" who are fully educated and trained in dealing with wildlife issues.

Slug guns are rifles under Japanese law.

The point is that both require additional years to posess after owning a smoothbore. Rifled barrel slug guns, both fully and partial, are not rifles as a the muzzle engergy and ballistics are entirely different from rifles. Slug guns even if fully rifled can just barley do an MOA at 100 yards, which is a breeze with a rifle.

Slug guns and rifles are only put into the same category under Japanese law for posession purposes. Perhaps you should study the subject before postuig a snide uneducated comment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apparently since March 10, rifled barrel slug guns now fall under the 10 year restriction, with the exception of hunters younger than 50 in Hokkaido; for the purpose of culling bear and deer.

This does not affect me, as I don’t own slug guns, and before my 10 year mark, I used a smoothbore with rifled slugs. Which also had the advantage of being able to use buckshot and birdshot without changing barrels or buying another gun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/sapporo-news/20240301/7000065262.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BeerDeliveryGuy,

By 'half-rifle' do they mean a rifled shotgun? I'd always thought it meant a carbine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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