Osaka Gov Toru Hashimoto on Tuesday said that he has ordered his prefectural government to begin drafting a proposal for an ordinance that requires convicted pedophiles to report their addresses to local authorities.
Describing pedophilia as a type of pathology, Hashimoto said that statistically the recidivism rate is high among offenders. Speaking to reporters at the prefectural office, he said the system in Japan "is too lax" in dealing with prior offenders compared with those in other countries, Sankei Shimbun reported.
Hashimoto explained that the aim of the system would be to help those who had paid their debt to society reintegrate, rehabilitate and find work. It is also hoped that the system may help to discourage reoffending. Current talks are focused on whether to make it mandatory or optional for former sex offenders to submit their names and addresses. Hashimoto claims legal experts will be consulted before a decision is made.
Meanwhile, TBS reported that also being considered is legislation that regulates pedophiles' behavior, including their interaction with children. The governor aims to have the proposal ready to submit at the prefectural assembly session in February.
According to one prefectural official, if carried through, the regulation would be unprecedented in Japan. The success of the proposal will ultimately depend on who is in office come February, as it is believed Hashimoto will resign in October before his term ends, some media have speculated.
Previously, Hashimoto put forward a proposal to oblige convicted pedophiles to carry their entire personal histories, including their criminal records, as data embedded in GPS-enabled cell phones. However, then plan was abandoned when it became clear that this would require a change to Japanese law.© Japan Today