Pirates with AK-47s Edge Japan to Lift Gun Ban on Tankers

Pirates wielding rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s have prompted Japan to ease a samurai-era ban on civilians carrying guns, allowing guards on locally registered oil tankers to be armed for the first time.

Shipping companies will be able to place security personnel with guns on the tankers when sailing through specified areas of the Indian Ocean and in and around the Gulf of Aden, where pirates have collected hundreds of millions of dollars by hijacking ships. The change in the law, which became effective Nov. 30 and only applies to oil vessels, marks the first time Japan has authorized civilians to carry automatic weapons.

Read the rest of the story: Pirates Wielding Grenades Spur Japan to Ease Samurai-Era Gun Ban.

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