The Tokyo District Court sentenced former lawmaker Takao Koyama to a 22-month prison term Friday for taking bribes from KSD, an organization that provides industrial accident insurance to small businesses.
Koyama, 58, a former member of the House of Councilors, was convicted of accepting 20 million yen from Tadao Koseki, 81, the head of KSD, in October 1996 in return for asking a question in the Diet that benefited the organization.
Koyama received an additional 11.6 million yen from KSD as salary for his secretary, the court said.
Presiding Judge Shogo Kawaguchi said Koyama had betrayed public trust and had not recognized his great responsibility as a lawmaker.
During the trial, Koyama said that while he regretted damaging public trust in politics, he did not accept any commissions from KSD.
The judge said that he accepted testimony by Koseki, who admitted to begging Koyama to exercise his influence on behalf of KSD.
Koyama appealed Friday’s decision.
Meanwhile, former labor minister Masakuni Murakami is still being tried on charges of taking bribes from KSD. He has pleaded not guilty.
Koseki has been found guilty of bribing Murakami and Koyama and embezzling 80 million yen from KSD. In March, he avoided incarceration by receiving a suspended three-year prison term.
Koyama was a secretary to Murakami before being elected to the Diet in 1995. Koyama has said he will not return to the political arena but would instead like to spend his life helping others through volunteer work, along with his wife, an elementary school teacher.
KSD, a government-authorized organization supervised by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, was established in 1964 by Koseki, who once worked at a labor standards office.
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