Corrupt officials get suspended terms


Two former officials at a regional labor ministry bureau in Hiroshima were given suspended prison sentences Tuesday for embezzling 53 million yen in public funds over three years.

The Hiroshima District Court handed Yasuhiro Takahashi, 44, a three-year sentence for fraud and embezzlement and gave Takahiko Teranishi, 42, a 30-month term for fraud.

“Systematically wasting taxes from the public and lining one’s own pockets is an act of conceit by bureaucrats who know nothing about the people’s pain,” presiding Judge Masaichiro Iihata said in handing down the sentences, both of which were suspended for four years.

But Iihata said the court suspended the sentences because “it would be cruel to severely punish only the defendants, as most of the others involved in the illegal act are not being prosecuted.”

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