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Japan has been known as the safest country in the world for a long time.However,the country's crime situation has deteriorated rapidly over the last ten years.Therefore,re-establishing such country,in which the public could live with sense of security,has become a critical issue.People in diverse fields have examined the issue from broad perspectives and have attempted various measures.We recognized that under these circumstances,it is important for criminal justice agencies not to limit their roles only to clearing offenders promptly and certainly,and imposing appropriate punishments.They also should strive for reduction of recidivists and maintenance of public order through effective treatment for rehabilitation and social re-integration of offenders.
The White Paper on Crime2004overviews the recent crime trends,including data collected during the year2003.It also focuses on the treatment of offenders as the special article,in which we described the current situation of adult offenders'treatment along with the offenders'social background and made comparison with relevant figures in years of more tranquility,to benefit future discussion.
More specifically,Part5of this White Paper,at first,outlines problems that the Japanese adult correction system faces:overcrowded prisons and qualitative changes of inmates,along with the background causes of these problems and describes our efforts to confront these problems.Then we analyzed the trend of various systems and operations,mainly parole,to smoothly transit offenders from institutional treatment to community-based treatment and to support offenders'social reintegration.Furthermore,we examined the actual situation of the probation system,such as the tendencies of adult parolees and probationers and the shift in community-based treatment providers,such as volunteer probation officers.We identified the challenges in the probation/parole supervision system and countermeasures taken so far.
It is an important security measure to conduct purposeful treatment for rehabilitation and social reintegration of offenders.In order to provide such effective treatment,it is indispensable to earn support and understanding from the public.Furthermore,it is essential to develop various infrastructures concerning the treatment of offenders.If such effective treatment could be combined organically with the various measures taken in other sectors of the society,it would be a strong driving force to re-establish Japan as"the safest country in the world."
It would be our great pleasure if this White Paper could serve as a useful reference in examination of effective and appropriate policies to deal with offenders,and could contribute to developing better security measures.
Lastly,I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the General Secretariat of the Supreme Court of Japan,National Police Agency,Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications,Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Ministry of Health,Labour and Welfare,Ministry of Land,Infrastructure and Transport,and other institutions for their enormous cooperation in preparation of this White Paper.
OTSUKA Kiyoaki PresidentResearch and Training InstituteMinistry of Justice Japan
This White Paper was undertaken during Mr.Kiyoaki Otsuka's presidency at the Research and Training Institute of the Ministry of Justice,Japan,and thereafter,Mr.Otsuka has been promoted to Superintending Prosecutor of the Takamatsu High Prosecutors Office.
NAKAI Kenji PresidentResearch and Training InstituteMinistry of Justice Japan