National / Crime & Legal

Fired Japan education ministry official gets suspended sentence for drug abuse

Kyodo

A court on Monday sentenced a former education ministry official to two years in prison, suspended for four years, for using and possessing a stimulant drug.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that Mitsuhiro Fukuzawa, 44, had violated the stimulant drug control law by using a narcotic around May 27 this year at his home in Tokyo and by possessing a stimulant drug and marijuana at the ministry and his home on May 28.

Judge Shiho Akita outlined why he passed a suspended sentence. “While his dependence on a stimulant drug runs deep, the defendant has realized the enormous social impact of the investigation that even covered his workplace, and has expressed remorse,” Akita said.

Fukuzawa’s trial began on July 31. In his first hearing, he told the court he used the drug because of stress resulting from mistreatment in the workplace.

He was an assistant to the counselor, a senior official, at the elementary and secondary education bureau of the ministry, but was fired on July 26.