A by-law went into force in Osaka Prefecture on Oct. 1 that requires people who have completed their sentences for sex crimes targeting children to report their addresses and other information to the prefectural governor for five years. Violators will face a fine of up to ¥50,000. The Osaka prefectural government says the intention of the by-law is not to keep tabs on sex offenders but to facilitate their rehabilitation. If sex offenders wish, they can get support from clinical psychologists and social workers, and help in finding employment.

Because sex offenders have a high rate of recidivism, measures to prevent sex crimes and to help socially rehabilitate sex offenders are vital. But at the same time, efforts must be made to ensure that these legal measures do not violate the privacy of ex-convicts. Follow-up studies should also be made to gauge their effectiveness at preventing recidivism.

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