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Former Tokushima Gov. Toshio Endo pleaded guilty Friday to charges of receiving 8 million yen in bribes from a business consultant in 1997 and 2000 in return for helping a local construction firm win public works projects in the prefecture.

In his first session before the Tokyo District Court, 59-year-old Endo admitted that he helped local contractor Ichiba Nishimura Kensetsu take part in road construction and other projects between 1996 and 1997.

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