An assistant director of the Foreign Ministry who was arrested Thursday on suspicion of defrauding the state out of some 423 million yen by padding hotel bills for international meetings in 1995 has admitted padding accommodation fees for the past 20 years, investigative sources said Friday.

Akio Asakawa, 56, the assistant director of the First West Europe Division, part of the ministry’s European Affairs Bureau, told Tokyo police he did not initially intend to embezzle the money for his own private use, the sources said.

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