• Kyodo

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A former senior education ministry official was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, on Wednesday for receiving bribes from a former consulting firm executive.

The Tokyo District Court also gave Kazuaki Kawabata, 58, former director general for international affairs at the ministry, a ¥1.54 million fine for being wined and dined by Koji Taniguchi, 48, in return for helping to bring an astronaut to speak at a ceremony at Tokyo Medical University. Kawabata was working at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at the time.

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