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TOKYO — The Tokyo High Court on Thursday upheld a conviction involving a former Navy civilian who was found guilty of causing the death of a Japanese man in 2006.

In September, the Yokohama District Court in Yokosuka found Robert Burns Nolan — a former human resources director for Commander Naval Forces Japan — guilty of "bodily injury resulting in death." He was sentenced to three years, though the sentence was suspended for five years.

Nolan appealed the case to Tokyo High Court; he now has 14 days to appeal the high court’s decision to the Japanese Supreme Court, the country’s highest court.

The conviction stemmed from a confrontation at the Live Bar Buzz near Yokosuka Naval Base in November 2006 between Nolan and Katsumi Nakagawa, 70.

Witnesses said Nakagawa, who was drunk, was rowdy and refused to leave the bar. The Yokohama judge found Nolan pushed Nakagawa out of the bar; the man then tripped and fell onto the pavement. He died four days later at a Yokosuka hospital.

Nolan maintained he had tried to avoid confronting the Japanese man. Instead, Nolan’s lawyer argued, he didn’t push but only touched the Japanese man in an effort to leave the bar.


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