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WAKAYAMA (Kyodo) Wakayama Prefecture, its police and board of education will jointly start patrolling cyberspace June 9 to check messages on Web sites that could lead to bullying and other problems involving schoolchildren.

Children often exchange messages and personal information on Web sites that are not known to teachers, parents or other children. This in some cases has led to serious bullying at schools.

Also, many young people post an advance notice on the Internet before committing a crime.

The patrol team will try to check such messages and prevent crimes perpetrated by the young, the prefectural government said.

“We will look for (trouble) hotbeds and take measures before problems become more serious,” said an official in Wakayama’s juvenile and gender-equality community section.

Two full-time cyberspace patrollers from a nonprofit organization will check Web sites accessed by prefectural elementary, junior high and high school students.

Prefectural and board of education officials will be sent lists of the Web sites checked so they can regularly read the messages on them via cell phone or personal computer.

If messages on a Web site are believed to violate the human rights of a student, the prefecture will ask the site manager to delete them.

The police will also be alerted if it appears someone is sending advance notice over the Internet of plans to commit a crime, the prefecture said.

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