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Fujimori Aides Deny Asylum Rumors

November 17, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori stopped in Tokyo on Friday on his way back from an economic summit, and Fujimori aides denied he might be seeking political asylum in an Asian country.

Fujimori, whose son, Hiro, lives in Japan, planned to meet with Japanese officials to discuss loans for his country, the Peruvian Embassy in Tokyo said.

The Peruvian president conferred Friday evening with the governor of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Hiroshi Yasuda, and sought continued Japanese cooperation on projects top reduce poverty, Kyodo News Service said.

Phones rang unanswered at the Foreign Ministry late Friday.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Ministry official Hisashi Ueno said Fujimori _ who arrived after attending a summit of Pacific Rim nations in Brunei _ was in Tokyo only to change planes, and declined to provide details.

The visit came amid rumors that Fujimori, who is losing political control at home and was criticized for leaving Peru to attend the summit, may be seeking asylum in Malaysia or some other Asian country.

Fujimori aides denied the rumor, and the Foreign Ministry’s Ueno said the Peruvian leader had not approached Japan with such a request.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Thursday that the speculation was groundless.

Update hourly