The parents of a 16-year-old Japanese high school student who was shot dead in Louisiana in 1992 hope the younger generation will carry on their decades-long fight for U.S. gun control as they marked on Tuesday the 30th anniversary of their son's fatal shooting.

Masaichi and Mieko Hattori, whose son Yoshihiro was shot by the owner of a house that he mistakenly went to for a Halloween party in Baton Rouge on Oct. 17, 1992, are soon retiring from their work in calling for enhanced U.S. gun control measures.

Expressing hope that the next generation will be proactive in leading the fight, Masaichi, 75, said, "I hope they will reach out more to U.S. politicians." His 74-year-old wife said the couple would now have the time to deal with their son's death in their own way.

In the incident, Rodney Peairs shot Yoshihiro, an exchange student at McKinley Senior High School, after the boy and another student, whose family he was staying with, mistook Peairs's house as the venue for a Halloween party several doors away.

After the boys went to the back of Peairs's house dressed in Halloween costumes, he ordered them to "Freeze!" Hattori apparently did not understand the command, moved toward him, and was shot.

On Sunday, his host mother Holley Haymaker and others remembered Yoshihiro during an event at a church in Baton Rouge, saying, "Yoshi was an ideal exchange student, friendly, energetic, full of curiosity about his new world."

Yoshihiro was a member of the rugby club in Japan and also liked jazz dance. "He was taking jazz dance classes. He dressed for the night as John Travolta," Haymaker said, referring to the star of the hit disco movie "Saturday Night Fever."

The Hattori family sent a message to the event, saying, "Thanks to many people in Louisiana my son's dream of making America his second country has come true."

Masaichi and Mieko Hattori, mother and father of Yoshihiro Hattori, who was shot in 1992 in Louisiana, hold a rugby ball with a message written by their son's former classmate, on Oct. 14, 2022, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. (Kyodo)

His parents set up a group called Yoshi Coalition with their supporters to call for stricter gun control in the United States. The parents will soon resign as advisers to the group.

Using compensation money they won in a civil suit against the shooter, the group has funded entities acting against gun violence in the United States.

They have also established a fund named after Yoshihiro to support U.S. high school students in their studies in Japan. The fund has welcomed 31 students to Japan since 1994.

In the years following their son's death, the parents have also spoken in public at a number of lectures in Japan. A documentary film, books and CDs have also been released detailing the incident.

"It was a cycle of making progress and taking a step backward," Masaichi said, looking back at the past 30 years in the United States, where gun violence has not stopped despite moves to tighten gun control.

Peairs claimed he used the gun in self-defense because he feared he was confronting an unknown person disguised in a costume. He was found not guilty during a criminal trial but was ordered to pay compensation of $653,000 to the Hattoris in a civil suit.

Yoshihiro was a second-year student at Asahigaoka Senior High School in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture.

The parents immediately flew to Louisiana at the news of their son's death. Mieko said although she could not accept the reality of her son's death then, on her plane ride back to Japan, she was already preparing to launch a signature rally calling for stricter U.S. gun control.

At her son's funeral, she distributed campaign papers to participants, determined not to let her son's death be in vain, she said.

In 1993, she presented 1.8 million signatures collected in the petition drive at a meeting with then U.S. President Bill Clinton.