• Kyodo

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The former head of a nursing home in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, was found guilty Friday by the Maebashi District Court over a 2009 blaze that killed 10 residents, on the grounds that he should have foreseen the risk of a fire because he knew the facility’s ban on smoking was being ignored.

The court handed down a two-year prison sentence, suspended for four years, to Goro Takakuwa, 88, the former director of the Tamayura nursing home. It acquitted another defendant, former board member Tomiko Kubo, 76, who was deemed to have been under no obligation to advise Takakuwa on safety measures at the facility, which had no sprinklers or smoke detectors.

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