• Kyodo

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A senior official of the major Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha has been sentenced to a 15-month prison term for his involvement in a price-fixing conspiracy, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The official who serves as general manager in the company’s car carrier division pleaded guilty to the allegation Tuesday and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine for rigging prices for international shipping services from 2004 to 2012.

The official conspired with those of other companies to fix prices for shipments of cars, trucks and other cargo to and from the United States at locations that included Baltimore, the department said in a statement released Tuesday.

The Tokyo-based company has already agreed to pay a $59.4 million fine in connection with the violation, apart from the $20,000 fine slapped on the official Susumu Tanaka.

In the price-fixing cartel, another major Japanese shipping firm, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., and Chile’s Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. have admitted to their involvement and Tuesday’s order brought the combined total in fines imposed on the three companies to $136 million, according to the department.

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