The Justice Ministry said Tuesday firms that employ people with criminal records will receive an advantage in bidding on its public works projects from fiscal 2014.
Stable employment helps reduce recidivism, the ministry said, adding that the measure will add more employment opportunities for ex-cons.
The ministry will evaluate more highly bidders that have hired people with criminal records or minors on probation for at least three consecutive months in the last 12 months or so.
The measure will apply to bidding for public works projects worth less than ¥300 million and are relatively uncomplicated, such as building housing for prison officers.
Between 2008 and 2012, about 29 percent of those who were unemployed when they finished their probation reoffended, roughly four times the rate of those who were employed.