Alberto Fujimori, the former president of Peru, has decided to run for a seat in Japan’s upper parliament in July, according to the country’s NTV network’s website. Fujimori, 68, is quoted as saying that he wants “to make use of [his] 10-year experience as president to work for Japan and the world.”
The People’s New Party, a minor party, asked Fujimori to run. According to Fujimori, his top policy objectives would be to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program and the campaign to resolve the country’s abductions of Japanese citizens. “I think I can do it,” Fujimori told NTV.
It is not clear whether Fujimori would be eligible to register as a candidate. In 2000, the Japanese government came to the conclusion that Fujimori was a Japanese citizen because his birth was registered with a Japanese consulate in Peru, and he had never renounced his citizenship. Japan’s Kyodo News reported that no regulations under Japan’s Public Offices Election Law prohibit a candidate under house arrest overseas from running in an election in Japan, according to the Associated Press.
Peru wants to try Fujimori for bribery, wire tapping, the sanctioning of 25 killings and other charges accrued during his ten-year administration, which ended in 2000 following a corruption scandal. Fujimori spent the following five years in Japan in exile, and has renounced any wrongdoing. After returning to South America in an apparent bid to run for Peruvian office, he was arrested by Chilean authorities and put under house arrest. Fujimori was freed for a time, on the condition he not leave the country, but recently a Chilean prosecutor recommended that he be extradited to Peru to face charges of human rights abuses and corruption. He is currently under house arrest in Chile.
Jose Garcia Belaunde, Peru’s Foreign Minister, dismissed the proposal as “a maneuver by that party and by ex-President Fujimori to try to avoid extradition,” reported BBC News. Chilean legal experts claim that Fujimori’s candidacy will not affect a final deportation ruling.
For more information, please see:
“Fujimori mulls Japan party offer” BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6220694.stm 20 June 2007
“Report: Ex-Peruvian Leader to run in Japan Race” CNN http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/americas/06/27/fujimori.japan.ap/index.html 27 June 2007
“Japanese Party says Fujimori to run in Japanese Parliamentary Race” International Herald Tribune http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/28/asia/AS-GEN-Japan-Fujimori.php 27 June 2007
“Peruvian Ex-President Fujimori Under House Arrest in Chile” Impunity Watch; 14 June 2007