Foreign students looking to study abroad are avoiding America because they're too scared of guns, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.
He made the remarks to CNN in Tokyo, in reference to statistics that show the number of Japanese students coming to America fell by 14 percent between 2010 and 2011.
"We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to — particularly from Japan — to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they're actually scared," Mr. Kerry said to CNN. "They think they're not safe in the United States, and so they don't come."
Mr. Kerry then spoke of Japan's prohibitions on private gun ownership and said that's why the country was safer — it's a place "where people are not running around with guns," CNN reported.
The report from the Institute of International Education doesn't totally bear out that conclusion, however.
The report found that while Japanese students were choosing to study in America with less frequency, they also were choosing to study in any overseas spot with less frequency.
The report attributed this drop-off in Japan's overseas studies to the nation's lower birthrate and the escalating costs to go abroad, CNN said. On top of that, the report found, young Japanese students just don't have the motivation to leave their home country as much as in yesteryears.
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