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Fujimori Ends Seclusion, Defends Record

TOKYO (voa) – Former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori has broken months of seclusion with a passionate defense of his rule. In a lecture at Takushoku University, Mr. Fujimori portrayed himself as a leader who destroyed terrorism in his country. He illustrated his talk with a grisly video of alleged atrocities committed by the Maoist Shining Path rebel movement.

Hundreds of students showed up to see Mr. Fujimori speak, while dozens of Peruvian and Japanese demonstrators gathered outside the campus to protest his presence.

At a news conference following the speech, the university, which has a long-standing interest in South America, defended the decision to allow the former leader to speak. Professor Kazuo Ijiri, director of the school’s Japan Cultural Research Department told reporters that they are not in a position to judge Mr. Fujimori.

The former Peruvian president fled to Japan, the country of his parents, 14 months ago, following a corruption scandal involving his former right-hand man and intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos. Mr. Fujimori is on an international wanted list and is charged with corruption and sponsoring death squads, But he made no reference to his problems in his speech.

The Peruvian government wants to extradite him, but he has secured Japanese citizenship and Tokyo says it cannot extradite a Japanese national.

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