National

Prison term sought for poultry exec

Kyodo

Prosecutors on Friday demanded a one-year prison sentence for the president of a chicken farm operator over his efforts to cover up a bird flu outbreak at a farm in Kyoto Prefecture earlier this year.

They also sought a 500,000 yen penalty for his firm in connection with his case.

Hideaki Asada, the 41-year-old president of Asada Nosan Co., had pleaded guilty at the Kyoto District Court last month.

His father, Hajimu Asada, who served as chairman of the company, was found hanged along with his wife in March after the scandal broke.

The prosecutors alleged in their closing arguments that the father and son were aware of the bird flu infection. They stated that, despite being required by law to report the infection to local authorities, they conspired to cover it up for fear of losing business.

The prosecutors added that even after a huge number of chickens died around Feb. 22 at the company’s Funai farm in Tanba, Kyoto Prefecture, the company delivered many of the remaining birds to a processing plant in Hyogo Prefecture and falsified data on the number of dead chickens.

“It was a shrewd crime that involved the whole company in the attempt to hide the infection, and there is no room for leniency regarding his motive,” the prosecutors said.

“The crime resulted in total damage of about 200 million yen to the farm’s clients.”

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