Japan's welfare ministry on Thursday began sharing with local municipalities information on baby sitters who have been subjected to administrative action for sexual assault or abuse, to prevent a similar incident from happening amid a spate of such malicious cases.

Although the municipalities currently publish the names of baby sitters and disciplinary actions on their respective websites, that information is generally not shared.

Such information is slated to become available to the general public by next summer at the earliest.

Baby sitters in Japan who work freelance are required to register at their local governments as "unlicensed day-care facilities" and they can be subjected to disciplinary action for any malicious behavior.

However, the lack of information sharing had previously raised criticism that such baby sitters may be able to continue abusing children in other localities.

Under the new system, municipalities will report to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare the name, address and type of disciplinary measure of baby sitters who have been penalized. A list will then be uploaded on a special website accessible for the relevant local officials.

People can currently view the names of registered baby sitters on a website operated by the government called "Koko de sa-chi."

The move comes after a former baby sitter was sentenced in August to a prison term of 20 years over forcible sexual intercourse and other indecent acts on 20 boys aged 5 to 11.

According to the Tokyo District Court ruling, he had committed the acts in areas including Tokyo, the nearby prefectures of Ibaraki, Shizuoka, Yamanashi, as well as in Hiroshima in western Japan.

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