The building of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs is pictured in the Kasumigaseki district of Tokyo. (Mainichi / Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO – On November 24, at an expert meeting of the panel of experts, the Ministry of Health presented a proposal to tighten the re-registration process for childcare staff, which is banned for indecent behavior from 10 years for those sentenced to prison terms and tougher sentences.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare intends to present a draft law to amend the Child Protection Act in the ordinary session of the state parliament next year.

Child carers must register with each prefecture after obtaining a license. Under current law, a childcare worker who is criminally punished for an indecent act can be re-registered two years after serving the sentence.

But the proposed revision would extend it to 10 years, the same time limit for imprisonment or more severe sentences. In addition, in cases where a fine or no penalty is imposed if a person has committed indecent acts and is punished for doing so, the reregistration will be extended to three years after the completion of their sentence.

The ministry is also considering creating a database of criminal records for indecent behavior and introducing a system where each prefecture would set up a new review committee to decide whether or not to re-register these workers.

At a press conference on November 24th, Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto said, “We must not have a situation where a childcare worker who has committed an indecent act does a similar act again in the daycare.”

(Japanese original by Takashi Kokaji, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)