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In November 2004, a kidnap murder case in Nara prefecture, in which a person who had been convicted for sexual offenses committed out of his sexual motivation, triggered the general public's concern about sexual offenses and serious repeat offenses by persons who had been convicted for sexual offenses. The general public came to strongly request clarification of the present situation of repeat offenses by sex offenders and enhancement of efforts for preventing repeat offenses. Under such circumstances, the Ministry of Justice carried out a special survey on the present situation of sex offenders and their repeat offenses at the Research and Training Institute, and commenced sex offender treatment programs through correction and rehabilitation as measures to prevent sex offenders from repeating offenses in FY2006.
Sexual offenses have come to be recognized as one of the most serious offenses that trigger social concerns, causing the general public to have anxiety in their daily life.
The number of reported cases of sexual offenses has decreased in recent years, and the clearance rate, which once dropped sharply, has shown a sign of recovery. However, some point out that a significant portion of sexual offenses has not been reported to the police. The situation should still cause deep concern.
In this special article, we will analyze the reality of sex offenders and their repeat offenses based on trends in sexual offenses and the number of cleared persons and the results of the special survey, outline the situation of criminal dispositions for sex offenders, and explain sex offender treatment programs through correction and rehabilitation that were newly commenced as one of new trends of criminal policy.
Furthermore, we will pick up France, Germany, the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. to outline trends in sexual offenses and countermeasures in those five countries.