[JURIST] The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced [Daily Yomiuri report] former Japanese administrative vice defense minister Takemasa Moriya to two and a half years in prison for accepting bribes and committing perjury. In April, Moriya pleaded guilty [Daily Yomiuri report] to accepting approximately $126,000 worth of illegal benefits from military contractor Yamada Corporation [corporate website], and to giving false testimony to conceal the exchanges. He was also ordered to pay fines equaling the amount of the bribes, and was denied his request to have his sentence suspended [Japan Times report]. Motonobu Miyazaki, former managing director of Yamada, was also sentenced to two years' imprisonment for his involvement in the bribery. AFP has more. The Daily Yomiuri has local coverage.
Japan has been generally successful in fighting corruption, but financial scandal has rocked the national government before. In May 2007 Agriculture Minister Shinichi Yamazaki committed suicide [Times report] after being called before a parliamentary committee to answer allegations of embezzling over $200,000 in state funds. In 2008, corruption monitoring group Transparency International [advocacy website] ranked Japan 18th in the world [TI chart] - tied with the US - its index of countries enjoying perceptions of low corruption.