Members of the media (left) gather at the entrance to the Hino basic firing range in the city of Gifu, Gifu prefecture, on June 14, 2023, where a shooting incident occurred with soldiers from Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (SDF) at the training range. (PHOTO / AFP)
TOKYO - A member of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of attempted murder after a shooting incident that resulted in two fatalities, local media reported.
An 18-year-old SDF member allegedly injured three other personnel with automatic weapon fire, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing the defense ministry. The victims were transported to hospital, with two dying of their injuries, NHK said.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the incident happened at about 9 am at an SDF shooting range in Hino City in the central Japanese prefecture of Gifu. An SDF spokesperson said eight shots were fired.
This aerial photo shows the Ground Self Defense Force's base firing range in Gifu, central Japan, on June 14, 2023. (PHOTO / KYODO NEWS VIA AP)
The victims included a man in his 50s and two in their 20s, and there were no reports of civilian casualties, NHK said.
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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