Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama called on prison heads Thursday to treat juvenile inmates more carefully to reflect a revised law lowering the age for punishment by a criminal court to 14.

She told a Tokyo meeting of prison heads and their supervisors in regional correction headquarters, “We are required to train and correct juvenile offenders with more sophisticated methods and care, taking into account individual characteristics.”

Moriyama advised them to review prison operations and to study how to obtain contracts from companies amid the sluggish economic situation.

They also discussed the issue of prison populations being 5 percent over capacity as of the end of April.

The revised Juvenile Law, which took effect April 1, lowers the age of people who can be charged and incarcerated as criminals from 16 to 14.

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