Aomori Gov. Morio Kimura on Friday asked the Foreign Ministry to help the prefecture reclaim money that a former employee of a public housing corporation allegedly embezzled and gave to his Chilean wife.

Kimura made the request to Vice Foreign Minister Yukio Takeuchi at the ministry’s office in Tokyo.

Kimura later confirmed to reporters he had sought the ministry’s full cooperation in efforts to recover funds embezzled from Aomori Prefectural Housing Supply Public Corp.

According to a ministry official, Takeuchi told Kimura that the ministry will do whatever it can as it has keen interest in the matter.

The official also quoted Takeuchi as saying he hopes the issue will be resolved in a fair and prompt manner in accordance with Chile’s legal framework.

Yuji Chida, 45, is currently being tried in Japan on charges of embezzling about 1.46 billion yen from the housing corporation, where he oversaw accounting before his arrest in Tokyo in December.

He allegedly gave his Chilean wife, 29-year-old Anita Alvarado, at least 810 million yen; Alvarado says she had no idea the money had been obtained illegally.

In July, the corporation filed a criminal charge in Chile against Alvarado for listing as her own the real estate holdings that, under Chilean law, belonged to Chida.

She then transferred the assets to a Cuban man, to whom she is thought to be engaged.

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