SENDAI (Kyodo) Miyagi Prefecture is considering drafting an ordinance to allow police to monitor sexual and domestic violence offenders by making them wear a GPS device at all times, the prefectural government said Saturday.
If the ordinance is enacted, it will be the first such legislation in Japan, the prefecture said.
“It would be more desirable if such measures are uniformly adopted throughout the country, but the state is being slow to act. So I would like to take the step in Miyagi to herald a shift,” Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said at a meeting of a panel of experts at the prefectural office.
A draft proposal presented by the prefectural government at the meeting also calls for sex offenders to submit their DNA whenever necessary so the data can be used to identify suspects in sex-related crimes in the prefecture.
While the the proposal is intended to act as a major deterrent to sexual crimes in the prefecture, it is expected to provoke public controversy as such measures could infringe on fundamental human rights.
At the closed meeting, many of those present adopted a cautious stance on the proposed ordinance, sources said.
After the meeting, however, the governor said he will decide whether to draft such an ordinance by the end of March, and submit a bill to the prefectural assembly during fiscal 2011 if he decides to proceed.
Under the proposal, offenders residing in Miyagi who are imprisoned for rape and other sexual crimes against women and children, as well as domestic violence offenders given a court restraining order, would be subject to the mandatory GPS device.
Miyagi is planning to impose fines and other penalties on those who violate the envisioned ordinance and allow the prefectural police to keep offenders’ DNA data.
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