Photo/IllutrationThe Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

BEIJING--A court here sentenced a 73-year-old Hokkaido man to 12 years in prison on a spying charge and ordered his property confiscated.

The man had been detained for more than three years.

In handing down the Dec. 10 verdict, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court confiscated 200,000 yuan (about 3.2 million yen, or $28,000) in assets, according to sources.

The man, who was detained in June 2015, often visited China as a company adviser after retiring from a leading airline, the sources said.

It was unclear what the alleged spying activities consisted of in the verdict, the sources said.

The case is among eight indictments of Japanese in the country on such charges since 2015. The verdict in the Hokkaido man's case was the fourth handed down.

In a Dec. 7 case, an intermediate people’s court in Shanghai sentenced a 57-year-old female executive of a Japanese language school in Tokyo to six years in prison on a spying charge and confiscated 50,000 yuan in assets, according to sources.

The woman, who is from China but had acquired Japanese citizenship, visited China about once a month to recruit Chinese to study in Japan. She was detained in Shanghai in June 2015 and indicted in July 2016.

According to the sources, it was also unclear what the spying charges consisted of in the verdict.