Japan man jailed for 10 yen theft

A court in Japan has jailed a 66-year-old man for a year for stealing 10 yen (12 cents) from a temple offering box, reducing his original sentence by eight months.

A district court ordered Masafumi Tsuruhara to spend 20 months in prison earlier this year after being caught taking the coin at Kongou-buji Temple in Wakayama, western Japan.

Tsuruhara appealed to Osaka High Court, insisting he had just been "playing with it", press reports said Friday.

A judge on Thursday said the sentence was "too heavy", they added. A court spokeswoman confirmed to AFP the jail term had been reduced to one year.

"It's 10 yen, but it is still cash," the judge was quoted by local media as saying. "The motive is selfish. His criminal responsibility cannot be treated lightly."

Under Japanese law, theft is punishable by up to 10 years' jail or a fine of up to 500,000 yen.

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