| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Japanese soldier opens fire at colleagues at military base, two dead

The military announced on Wednesday that the number of casualties in a shooting incident at a Japanese army training range has risen to two. Earlier in the day, an 18-year-old member of the military opened fire on fellow colleagues.
“The death of another person has been confirmed of the three who were shot at,” the Ground Self-Defense Force said in a brief statement after earlier confirming a first death and two injuries.

The reports of casualties comes hours after the government confirmed three members of the Self-Defense Forces had been wounded and a person was in custody over the incident.

NHK citing sources said that an 18-year-old officer has been arrested for firing an automatic rifle at the force’s shooting range. One of the injured is said to be in critical condition.

Local media reported that the victims included a man in his 50s and two in their 20s, and there were no reports of civilian casualties.

The incident occurred around 9 am (local time) at an SDF shooting range in Hino City in the central Japanese prefecture of Gifu, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said. An SDF spokesperson said eight shots were fired.
The Imperial Japanese Army opened the base in 1907, and it was confiscated by the US Amy after the end of World War II. SDF members began using the 6.7-hectare firing range in 1960.
The firing range is now mainly used by members of the Ground SDF Camp Moriyama in nearby Nagoya.

Shootings are extremely rare in Japan, where gun ownership is tightly regulated and anyone seeking to own a gun must go through a rigorous vetting process.

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