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The Tokyo High Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling sentencing former Vice Health and Welfare Minister Nobuharu Okamitsu to two years in prison for accepting about 60 million yen in bribes from a nursing home operator.

The court rejected an appeal by Okamitsu, 61, against the June 1998 Tokyo District Court ruling. The defendant had sought an acquittal, claiming the money he received from Hiroshi Koyama, former head of the Aya Welfare Group, was a loan.

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