• Kyodo

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The Nagoya High Court on Friday rejected an appeal filed by former Home Affairs Minister Kanju Sato against his 16-month prison term for defrauding the state out of about 17 million yen.

“The crime was conducted on the basis of strong criminal intent,” presiding Judge Makoto Kawahara said. Sato and his lawyer had sought a suspended sentence, saying Sato had resigned as a House of Representatives member to take responsibility and had returned the money to the state.

Both Sato, 62, and prosecutors decided not to appeal the ruling, meaning Sato will go to prison.

Sato, also a former chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, abused a state system and received the money paid as salary for a secretary — who never worked for him — between July 2000 and April 2003. He was sentenced to prison by the Nagoya District Court in September.

The secretary was the wife of his acquaintance and a former chairwoman of the municipal assembly in Bisai, Aichi Prefecture.

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