Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday said that fewer foreign students are traveling to the United States to study because they fear gun violence.

During an interview in Tokyo about recent tensions with North Korea, CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty asked Kerry if other countries had expressed concerns about the debate over guns going on in the U.S. after the December mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

"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," Kerry explained. "They think they're not safe in the United States and so they don't come."

The secretary of state noted that Japanese officials perceived Japan to be safer for students because of restrictive gun laws.

According to CNN, the number of Japanese students studying in the U.S. fell 14 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast April 15, 2013.