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BANGKOK (Kyodo) A Japanese man has been sentenced to death for killing a Japanese acquaintance in Thailand in December 2007.

Kengo Ikeda, 60, a native of Hokkaido, suffocated Hiroshi Nakazono, 67, after robbing him of about ¥3 million in cash and his personal computer, and abandoned his corpse in the mountains, according to the ruling Friday at a regional court in the eastern beach resort of Pattaya.

Ikeda identified himself to Thai police as Toshihiko Sasaki when he was arrested in Thailand last December.

Nakazono, a realtor from Tokyo who had regularly visited Pattaya, went missing after entering Thailand on Dec. 14, 2007, with ¥3.47 million in cash, which he planned to deposit in a bank so he could apply for a long-stay visa, according to Pattaya police.

His body was found Dec. 26 in the Sattahip District, not far from Pattaya.

According to Japanese officials, Ikeda left Japan for Thailand in November 2004 after assuming the Sasaki identity. Sasaki was a real person who went missing in Hokkaido after Ikeda left Japan.

Ikeda was placed on a wanted list in 2005 on suspicion of signing an investigative record with the name of a different person. His identity was confirmed through fingerprints, officials said.

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