The National Police Agency will launch a DNA database Friday of evidence found at unsolved crime scenes nationwide.
The database will allow police to cross-reference DNA samples from blood, hair and body fluids, the agency said Thursday. Fingerprint data are already in a database.
The NPA has already received data on 300 DNA samples from prefectural police.
The database will not include DNA data from suspects under arrest, due to privacy reasons, they said.
The move will probably trigger calls for strict management of the database due to fears that personal genetic information could be misused. The NPA has promised to delete each DNA sample from the database after it has been identified and cross-referencing has been completed. Guidelines for the use of the database were sent Thursday to prefectural forces nationwide.
Under the new system, prefectural criminal investigation laboratories will send DNA samples obtained during criminal investigations and from suspects to the NPA for examination.
If the samples match any of the samples on the database, the NPA will inform the lab from which it was sent.
The NPA claimed the database is strictly controlled and can only be accessed by a limited number of people.
The majority of the Group of Eight major countries, including Britain, Germany and the United States, already have DNA databases on suspects.
Japanese police began using DNA analysis in their investigations in 1989, and had conducted such tests in more than 5,000 cases as of last March.
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