Sanyu Ishii, who stepped down last year as mayor of the Tokyo suburb of Komae after incurring huge gambling debts, was sentenced August 1 to two years in prison and fined 4 million yen for accepting bribes from local construction firms.

Following his sudden resignation in June 1996, Ishii, 66, disappeared for about a month. It was later revealed that he had amassed personal debts of some 2.8 billion yen due to gambling losses during a vacation in South Korea.

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