Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Japan. 2001 ‘Firearms Control in Japan.’ National Police Agency, Firearms Division, p. 9. Tokyo: Firearms Division, Community Safety Bureau, National Police Agency. 1 January
Firearms Regulation in Japan
The possession, importing and firing of firearms are subject to the provisions of the Firearms and Swords Control Law. The manufacture and sale of ammunition are regulated under the Ordnance Manufacturing Law.
Firearms comprise a diverse range of arms, including hunting guns (shotguns and rifles), air guns and industrial guns whose use is socially accepted, and other firearms (handguns, military rifles, machine guns) whose use is basically not approved. The regulations therefore provide for varying degrees of toughness and differ in their provisions for the various types of firearms.
Under the Firearms and Swords Control Law, the possession of firearms in the first category is permitted subject to approval by the Prefectural Public Safety Commission. The possession of firearms in the second category, however, is basically prohibited.
In recognition of the danger that handguns are essentially killing and maiming devices, their possession by individuals is practically not allowed except for Police and military personnel.
[Editor's Note: After reviewing available legislation and other source documents, GunPolicy.org found no evidence of a provision in law to regulate this aspect of firearm policy. As some authorities enforce restrictions only in practice, the mere absence of a published legal provision should be treated with caution]