• Kyodo


The Sapporo District Court sentenced an Air Self-Defense Force officer Thursday to a suspended 30-month prison term for defrauding the state of some 5.6 million yen.

The court ruled that Capt. Hisahiro Sado, 44, had swindled this amount from the state by padding bills — in cooperation with a hotel employee — for in-flight meals served during training flights in October 2001 and November 2002, when he belonged to a special unit operating government planes.

The unit was based in Chitose, Hokkaido. Sado, whose sentence was suspended for four years, now belongs to the ASDF Air Support Command in Fuchu, Tokyo.

Judge Yasushi Handa said, “The defendant’s act was subtle and malicious, ignoring the basic code of conduct that must be observed by any public servant in charge of executing a tax-based budget.”

In explaining why his sentence was suspended, the judge said, “The defendant can be expected to return the money to the state.”

ASDF spokesman Junichi Yano said he deplored the crime and vowed to strive to prevent any recurrence.

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