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 White paper on crime 2006 Part 6/Chapter 1/4 

4 Aims of this special article

  As mentioned before, Japan's criminal situations have been rather serious and the general public has had deep-seated anxiety over public safety. However, the actual number of reported cases for non-traffic penal code offenses has been declining after hitting a peak in 2002. We consider it is meaningful from the viewpoint of criminal policy to objectively analyze recent criminal situations and introduce and examine part of various activities for restoring public safety at this particular time.
  From such point of view, this special article analyzes recent criminal situations based on objective statistical values to examine what lies behind those values, picks up and outlines various measures related to the restoration of public safety and elimination of pubic anxiety including those for treatment for offenders, as new trends related to criminal policy.
  Furthermore, this special article takes up sexual offenses as one example of recent criminals that receive people's attention and heighten their anxiety, and outlines treatment measures to prevent sex offenders from repeating offenses as one of the innovative moves concerning criminal policy.
  Sexual offenses often cause serious damages to victims' mind and body, hurting their human dignity in particular and affecting their minds for a long period of time. The upward trend in the number of reported cases for sexual offenses seems to have settled down recently. However, as victims of sexual offenses are often unwilling to report the case, the number of dark figure cannot be ignored. In addition to sexual offenses, heinous crimes targeting minors have occurred, posing strong uneasiness in society.
  Based on such circumstances, this special article analyzes trends in sexual offenses and the current status and repeated offenses of sex offenders and introduces sex offender treatment programs that were initiated recently in the field of correction and rehabilitation.
  Lastly, this special article takes up the reform of the judicial system including the introduction of the Saiban-in system as the most important challenge in the field of criminal justice related to criminal policy, and introduces the progress of the reform and efforts for realizing it. Furthermore, as basic data for reviewing the situation for successfully disseminating the Saiban-in system, trends in offenses to be covered by Saiban-in trials are outlined and problems in implementing the system are explained.
  The reform of the judicial system including the introduction of Saiban-in trials and sex offender treatment programs are both typical innovative moves concerning criminal policy. This White Paper, subtitled "New Trends of Criminal Policy," aims to provide basic data for discussions on the future directions of criminal policy through the following special article.