Japan’s Expanded Background Checks to Safeguard Children

The Editorial Team
May 14, 2024

Japan has taken a major step forward in enhancing child protection. The government has approved a new law requiring extensive background checks for those seeking employment in child-related fields.

This landmark legislation aims to prevent sexual abuse of minors in schools, daycares, and other child-facing roles by mandating 20-year background checks - a significant expansion from the typical 5 to 10-year scope.

Modeled after the UK's Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), this new system is a huge leap forward in Japan's background screening industry.

Industry Impact and Implications

Japan's background checks for work involving children has substantial implications for employers and background screening providers alike. The expanded search period of 20 years will require employers to go deeper than the standard criminal records checks.

Additionally, the law makes these extensive employee background checks mandatory for certain industries like schools and daycares. Other child-facing businesses will have a voluntary certification program.

This legislation sets a notable precedent that could inspire other countries to adopt similar rigorous screening requirements. As the global focus on safeguarding vulnerable populations intensifies, employers must re-evaluate their due diligence and background check policies to ensure compliance with the evolving standards.

Importance of Comprehensive Screening

Japan's new law underscores the critical importance of thorough background checks in protecting children and other at-risk groups. It emphasizes that a basic criminal record check is no longer sufficient. Employers must go beyond surface-level checks to uncover a fuller picture of an applicant's history, including criminal and civil litigation records, educational qualifications, employment history, and financial status.

This reinforces the need for robust background screening solutions that can meet increasingly stringent compliance demands while strictly maintaining the confidentiality of personal data.

As an industry leader in background verification, ScreenXchange is well-equipped to help employers navigate these new requirements. With our comprehensive screening services, including criminal record checks, credit reports, and social media reviews, and expertise in cross-border checks, we can be your trusted screening partner.

Advice for Employers

For employers in Japan, preparing for the implementation of this landmark legislation is paramount. Key recommendations include:

  • Reviewing and updating internal hiring policies and procedures to align with the new background check mandates, including the Act on the Protection of Personal Information.
  • Providing training for HR and hiring managers on the legislative changes and their implications.
  • Leveraging technology-driven background screening solutions that can efficiently manage the expanded 20-year search requirements and conduct comprehensive checks, including reference checks and educational records.
  • Partnering with experienced background check providers like ScreenXchange to ensure compliant, streamlined screening processes prioritizing applicant data confidentiality.

Employers can safeguard their organizations, protect vulnerable populations, and demonstrate their commitment to ethical, responsible hiring practices by taking proactive steps to adapt to this evolving regulatory landscape.

Japan's groundbreaking background check legislation represents a major milestone in the global effort to enhance child protection. As the industry navigates these changes, ScreenXchange remains at the forefront, ready to support employers in meeting the new compliance standards.

By working closely with trusted background check services, organizations can confidently navigate this evolving landscape, make informed hiring decisions, and continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of the children and communities they serve.