OSAKA (Kyodo) A 44-year-old Chinese woman was given a suspended prison term Friday for entering Japan in the guise of a daughter of a Japanese defector from North Korea and helping a compatriot obtain a passport of the defector’s deceased niece.

Jin Xiaonu was sentenced to a three-year prison term, suspended for four years, by the Osaka District Court. Prosecutors had demanded a three-year term.

Jin is one of four Chinese nationals arrested in March for entering Japan by passing themselves off as relatives of the defector, Hiroko Saito, 68. Saito was also arrested at the time but later released and indicted in May on the charge of helping the Chinese.

Jin violated the Immigration Law by entering Japan at Narita airport in February, the court said. She was also found guilty of conspiring in March with another Chinese woman, Jin Xiaoyue, 47, to get her a passport by passing her off as Saito’s niece.

The women submitted to a Tokyo passport office a false application in the name of Saito’s niece with a photo of Jin Xiaoyue, who is on separate trial.

“The defendant’s deed was malicious, but she will not repeat the same crime without Saito’s cooperation,” Judge Takehiro Yasunaga said.

Among the kin Saito used to cover up her alleged crime, her oldest daughter and niece have already died.

Saito went to North Korea with her husband, who was a Korean resident in Japan, and their daughter in 1961, but defected to China in February 2001 and returned to Japan that August, taking Jin Xiaonu as her oldest daughter.

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