Japan eviction: Anwar asks Putrajaya to explain

Anwar Ibrahim

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim demands an explanation from Putrajaya over his eviction from Japan yesterday.

(FMT) – Anwar Ibrahim has demanded Putrajaya explain the role it played in his forceful denial of entry into Japan.

“I demand an explanation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in particular, as to what role Wisma Putra has played in this scandalous episode in respect of the so-called ‘latest report’ that has purportedly led to my being forcibly evicted from Japan,” the PKR de facto leader said in a statement here.

Last night, Anwar reportedly said he was barred from entering the country when he arrived at Narita International Airport at 6.45am yesterday and was told to board the first flight back or face deportation.

“I told the immigration authorities there must be some mix-up in this matter and protested that it was not proper for them to bar me from entering the country without a bona fide and valid reason,” he said.

“When I asked why I was not allowed to enter, they told me that it was because of my previous conviction in 1999,” he added.

Anwar said the excuse given could not be valid as he had already entered Tokyo without hindrance on three previous occasions in 2006, 2009, and 2012.

“As I persisted in asking for an explanation, they finally told me that they had to take this action ‘because of a latest report’ possibly in 2013,” he said.

“I protest in the strongest terms this unwarranted action of the Japanese government in refusing me entry and denying my legitimate rights to travel freely without hindrance,” he added.

On his purpose to Tokyo, Anwar explained that he was invited personally by the Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, to present a paper on Muslim Democrats.

“As a routine pre-travel procedure, my office had made inquiries with the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur last week and was informed that there would be no issues outstanding which would be an impediment to my entering the country,” he lamented.

“It is indeed inconceivable for one of the world’s leading democracies to take this unprecedented action under such tenuous grounds and leaves me with the impression that hidden hands may be at work here.”