Japan govt. approves bill to allow employers to access sex offenders' records

The Japanese government has approved a draft bill to set up a system to enable operators of facilities for children to check whether job applicants have any record of committing sexual offenses.

The approval comes at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The government is aiming to introduce the Japanese version of Britain's Disclosure and Barring Service after a series of sexual crimes occurred at schools, day nurseries, cram schools and other facilities for children.

Under the system, operators of schools, day nurseries and other institutions will be required to access the records of sexual offenders held by the Justice Ministry to check the background of applicants before hiring them.

In addition, the government will accredit entities such as cram schools and sports clubs if they check the sexual offence records.

Under the proposed system, the sexual offense records of those sentenced to prison without labor or given more severe penalties will be accessible for 20 years after their sentences are complete.

The records of those who received fines will be accessible for 10 years.

The sexual offenses to be checked will include both criminal offenses and violations of local ordinances, such as molestation and secret photographing.

The backgrounds not only of job applicants but also of those who are already employed will be checked.

The government has suggested that if employers find that one of their employees has a sexual offense history, they should transfer the person to a different position or even dismiss them if it is difficult to secure the children's safety.

The government plans to draw up guidelines for operators.

It hopes to enact the bill during the current Diet session.