A former top secretary to Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Yukihiko Akutsu was sentenced Monday to a suspended two-year prison term for possessing and using stimulant drugs earlier this year.

The Tokyo District Court handed down the sentence, which was suspended for three years, to Hironori Niwa, 36. Prosecutors had demanded a two-year prison term.

According to the court, Niwa used stimulants at his house in Hino, western Tokyo, around March 14 and possessed 0.3 grams of the drugs and 0.7 grams of cannabis resin.

Niwa was one of the publicly paid secretaries to Akutsu, a Lower House member. He was fired one day after he was arrested in central Tokyo on March 14, when he was caught with about 0.2 grams of stimulants in his pocket.

He told police at the time that he bought the drugs from a foreign drug dealer in Tokyo’s Shibuya district.

Niwa had served as a secretary to Nobuteru Ishihara, a Lower House member of the Liberal Democratic Party and now state minister in charge of administrative reform, before working for Akutsu.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.