Peru’s former President: ‘Powerful figures’ protected Fujimori in Japan

Peru’s former President Alberto Fujimori in Santiago, Chile last year.
© La Republica

(LIP-jl) — Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo affirmed that he does not believe the Japanese government protected former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori from Peru’s extradition attempts while he lived in Japan, instead he blamed "powerful people" in the Japanese society.

Toledo, who is currently in Tokyo as part of an Asia-Pacific academic tour, commented that it was a "great surprise" and a "disappointment" to all Peruvians when they heard of Fujimori’s claims that he was not a Peruvian citizen (Japan prevented Fujimori’s extradition to Peru on the grounds that his parents were Japanese citizens, making their Peruvian born son a Japanese citizen).

Toledo accused Fujimori of hiding behind his newfound Japanese citizenship to avoid facing Peruvian justice.

Despite having numerous international arrests warrants issued by Interpol, Toledo struggled to convince then Japanese Prime Minster Junichiro Koizumi to extradite Fujimori.

Koizumi argued Japanese citizens could not be extradited to countries who do not have an extradition treaties with Japan (Peru did not have one at the time).

According to Toledo, the relationship between Tokyo and Lima was not affected in other areas since the Fujimori saga was a ‘judicial’ problem.

Fujimori, who surprisingly arrived in Chile from Japan over a year ago, is currently awaiting the outcome of the ongoing extradition case by the Chilean Supreme Court.