A former top bureaucrat accused of murdering his socially reclusive son last year entered a plea of not guilty on the grounds of self-defense at the first hearing of his appeal trial Tuesday.

During the hearing at the Tokyo High Court, the defense team for Hideaki Kumazawa, a former vice farm minister, stated that "Since his intuition told him he could be killed by the victim, he killed him by reflex."

Kumazawa, 77, was sentenced to six years in prison by the Tokyo District Court in December last year.