Ministry to provide sex offenders’ criminal records to Osaka Pref.

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The Justice Ministry will provide the Osaka prefectural government with criminal records of convicted sex offenders against children from Oct. 1, following the entry into force that day of the nation’s first ordinance to oblige such convicts to report their addresses after leaving prison, ministry officials said Monday.

The ministry is set to exchange a memorandum of understanding with the Osaka government probably later this week to enable the provision of data on crimes committed by ex-convicts and when they served out their sentence in response to inquiries from the western Japan prefecture, the officials said.

The ministry concluded the provision of criminal records to Osaka would cause no problem since the prefectural government made it clear it will obtain written approval from ex-convicts when it makes an inquiry into their data and that it will strictly manage such information, they said.

Under the ordinance, which was originally proposed by former Gov. Toru Hashimoto and enacted in March, convicted sex offenders in Osaka against children under age 18 must report their addresses and contact information to the governor for five years after release from prison. They will be imposed a penalty of up to 50,000 yen if they neglect to report.

The ordinance was introduced with the aim of protecting children from convicted sex offenders and facilitating their social rehabilitation.

The prefectural government will then make an inquiry at penal institutions to confirm the information provided by ex-convicts, submitting written approval from them to do so at the same time.

The ministry’s Correction Bureau is planning to distribute posters at penal institutions to introduce the new ordinance in Osaka and will consider responding to inquiries if other municipalities implement similar ordinances, the officials said.

The Miyagi prefectural government in northeastern Japan had studied an ordinance to monitor convicted sex offenders with satellites for the global positioning system, but discussions were stalled after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the region in March last year.

Mainichi Japan, September 25, 2012
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