The Tokyo District Court on Friday sentenced the president of a Tokyo machinery manufacturer to a suspended 30-month prison term for illegally exporting equipment to Iran that can be used to build missiles.
Haruhiko Ueda, 70, president of Seishin Enterprise Co., and Akira Kamiya, a 42-year-old former chief of the firm’s South Korea branch, were indicted for violating the foreign-exchange law by exporting two high-capacity jet mills, worth a total of about 15 million yen, to an Iranian company and university without government authorization in May 1999 and November 2000.
Presiding Judge Shoji Ogawa sentenced Kamiya to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, and fined the company 15 million yen. Ueda’s 30-month sentence was suspended for five years.
Jet mills are used mainly by drug companies and food makers, though they have a military application in the production of solid fuel for missiles.
The government requires a license for the export of jet mills, which can grind materials into fine powder using compressed air.
During the trial, Ueda said he was unaware that he needed government approval to export this equipment. Kamiya also pleaded not guilty.
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