• Kyodo

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Former home affairs minister Kanju Sato was indicted Monday on a charge of fraud for allegedly pocketing more than 17 million yen in public funds meant for a secretary who never worked for him.

Sato, 62, his wife, Miyoko, 52, and his aide Seiki Asada, 66, were arrested March 7.

The Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office did not file similar charges against the wife and aide, however, concluding that Miyoko was simply following her husband’s instructions, and that Asada had not benefited from the alleged scam.

Police arrested Sato, a former House of Representatives member from the Democratic Party of Japan, on suspicion of registering Asada’s 51-year-old wife as one of his secretaries between June 2000 and April 2003. Miyoko was a government-paid aide to Sato.

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