The Japanese government is set to allow employers to conduct criminal background checks going back more than 10 years under a new system to block sex offenders from jobs involving children, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The move comes as parent and child support groups have been calling for the system's establishment. But there are concerns that a disclosure period exceeding 10 years could conflict with the criminal law in terms of giving those who have atoned for their guilt a chance to be rehabilitated.

The government aims to submit a relevant bill to an ordinary Diet session next year, the sources said.

A report compiled in September by an expert panel of the Children and Families Agency proposed that all criminal records should be registered in the system referred to as the "Japanese DBS," which is similar to the British government's Disclosure and Barring Service certificate.

Parents of child sex crime victims hold a press conference behind partitions in Tokyo in July 2020. (Kyodo)

But the report also stressed the need for a time limit for how far back records of sex crimes can be available in the system, in consideration of a past offender's freedom to choose their career and to facilitate rehabilitation.

The government had originally considered a 10-year disclosure period for the new system in line with the criminal law, which stipulates that a ruling becomes void 10 years after the completion of sentence involving imprisonment or more serious penalties.

But some within the ruling parties argued that the period should be extended for the safety of children based on the high recidivism rate of sexual offenders.

Such debate, in addition to criticism that professions beyond day nurseries and schools should also be included in the system's scope, prompted the government to drop plans to submit the bill to the current parliamentary session.

Some ruling lawmakers have also proposed that arrests resulting in non-convictions, violations of local ordinances, and administrative penalties should also be registered in the system.

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