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Five stories about crime and justice in Japan:

  • Sakae Menda, the first person in Japan to have been released from death row after winning acquittal in a retrial, died Saturday at age 95, Kyodo reports. Menda was freed in 1983 after spending 34 years in prison. He spent much of the rest of his life as a campaigner against the death penalty, giving speeches in Japan and abroad.
  • Tokyo police have arrested two employees of the National Printing Bureau on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining coronavirus-related financial aid from the government, reports Jiji. The two men are suspected of defrauding the state out of a total of ¥2 million in aid by applying for the benefits with the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency in June by disguising themselves as sole proprietors. Both have admitted to the allegations against them.
Officials at the National Printing Bureau apologize at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday following the arrests of two employees over suspected fraud. | KYODO
Officials at the National Printing Bureau apologize at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday following the arrests of two employees over suspected fraud. | KYODO
  • In even more fraud news, Tokyo police have arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion that he illegally acquired coupons distributed under the government’s Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign, Jiji reports. The man allegedly acquired e-coupons worth some ¥540,000 by making reservations for five stays at four different hotels in Tokyo through a travel agency website in early October, even though he had no plans to actually stay at the hotels.
  • The operator of smartphone payment service PayPay said Monday that a server containing information on all 2.6 million stores using the service has been hacked, reports Jiji. There is a possibility that some 20.07 million records of information, such as store names and bank accounts, may have been compromised, PayPay said.
  • A Saitama man was arrested last week for leaving a hospital where he was being treated for coronavirus and visiting a nearby hot spring — without disclosing his illness to spa operators, Kyodo reports. The suspect also admitted that he visited his office.

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