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Japan’s first prison operated by the private sector will introduce a surveillance system to track the location of all prisoners via integrated-circuit tags, Justice Ministry officials said Friday.

A business group consisting of Secom Co., Shimizu Corp. and other companies has made a successful bid for the construction and operation of the new prison, which will be set up in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in April 2007.

At the bidding, the group made a presentation on the system, under which prisoners will be required to wear an IC tag on their uniforms so the central supervision room can track them at all times, the officials said.

It will also introduce rehabilitation programs and vocational training so that prisoners can learn to read braille and care for the elderly.

Half of the prison officers will be public servants.

The awarded contract price totals some 49.3 billion yen.

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