A former Finance Ministry official received a two-year suspended sentence and was fined more than 5 million yen by the Tokyo District Court Thursday for accepting bribes from four securities companies.Toshio Miyano, 51, a former senior official at the ministry’s Securities Bureau, was found guilty of accepting 5.36 million yen in bribes from the brokerages as a reward for granting them favors.Miyano was ordered to pay 5.23 million yen, the amount police say he received from the firms. According to the court, Miyano received the bribes in the form of wining and dining as well as golf outings and gift coupons from Nomura Securities Co., Nikko Securities Co., Daiwa Securities Co. and the now-defunct Yamaichi Securities Co.He accepted the bribes on 75 occasions between April 1993 to June 1996 in exchange for using his influence to help the four brokerages handle difficulties with clients and other favors, the court said.In handing down the ruling, presiding Judge Fumihiro Abe said the defendant should be severely criticized because his act seriously damaged public confidence in the fairness of the ministry’s administration over the securities business.Abe blamed Miyano for accepting the wining and dining countless times over such a long period, even after the practice by other bureaucrats came under public criticism. On one occasion, Miyano was wined and dined to the tune of as much as 180,000 yen.Still, the judge handed down a suspended sentence, on the grounds that Miyano had already been “socially punished” after having been dismissed from the ministry. Miyano, who was fired in July, accepted bribes totaling 2.86 million yen from Nomura, 1.76 million yen from Nikko, 412,000 yen from Yamaichi and 336,000 yen from Daiwa, according to the court.During the trial, Miyano and his lawyers admitted he had received the gifts and entertainment from the securities firms, but denied he gave favors in return. Prosecutors had demanded an unsuspended three-year prison term and 5.36 million yen in fines.
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