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Japan confirms nationality for Fujimori, says his stay poses no problems

December 12, 2000
Web posted at: 12:56 PM HKT (0456 GMT)

TOKYO (CNN) -- Japanese Justice Minister Masahiko Komura said Tuesday the Justice Ministry had confirmed the Japanese nationality of former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who remains in Japan after announcing his resignation from a Tokyo hotel room last month.

Komura made the announcement at a regular news conference following a morning cabinet meeting.

In response to the announcement, Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono said the Foreign Ministry believes Fujimori's stay in Japan does not pose any legal problems.

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Kono believes the relationship between the Peruvian government and the former president is an internal Peruvian issue, foreign ministry officials told CNN.

Kono believes the Japanese government is not in a position to intervene in those relations, the officials added. But, they said, Kono says that if Peru presents a request, Japan will decide how to react accordingly, according to relevant Japanese laws and acts.

While Japan and Peru do not have an extradition treaty, the announcements on Tuesday strongly suggest that Japan, even if asked, would not force the deposed president to leave the country. According to Japanese law, a Japanese national will not be extradited even if an extradition treaty exists with the country accusing the citizen of the crime.

For example, if a Japanese citizen is found to have committed a crime abroad, such as murder, that person may be subject to punishment under the Japanese legal system instead.

According to the foreign ministry officials, Kono also says that in terms of future bilateral relations, Japan continues to support the Peruvian government based on the principles of Peru's constitution and democratic principles. And, he says, Japan continues to support the democratization process in Peru.

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