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A lawyer for Akihito Matsumura, a former health ministry official found guilty in connection with an AIDS death, filed an appeal Wednesday with the Supreme Court.

On March 25, the Tokyo High Court upheld a 2001 lower court ruling sentencing Matsumura, 63, to a suspended one-year prison term. Matsumura was director of the biologics division of the then Health and Welfare Ministry.

The high court held Matsumura responsible for causing one of two AIDS-related deaths through his failure to prevent the use of HIV-contaminated blood products in the 1980s.

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