TOKYO – Disgraced Peruvian ex-President Alberto Fujimori has decided to run in the election for Japan's upper house of parliament in July, despite being under house arrest in Chile, Japan's NTV network reported on its Web site Thursday.
"I have accepted the request by the People's New Party to be a proportional representation candidate," Fujimori, who also holds Japanese citizenship, was quoted as saying in an interview with NTV.
"I want to make use of my 10-year experience as president to work for Japan and the world," NTV quoted him as saying in a story posted on its Web site shortly after midnight.
Japan's Kyodo News agency had a similar report, saying Fujimori was "likely" to run in the election. Kyodo did not specify where it got the information.
The reports could not be immediately confirmed in Japan. No one answered the phones at the People's New Party offices at the upper house shortly after the reports appeared.
Fujimori, 68, is under house arrest in Chile. Peru wants to try him on charges including bribery, misuse of government funds and sanctioning death squad killings during his decade-long rule, which ended in 2000.
NTV said Fujimori listed his top policy objectives as Asian diplomacy, the effort to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, and the campaign to resolve the communist regime's abductions of Japanese citizens.
"That's my hope. I think I can do it," NTV quoted Fujimori as saying.
The People's New Party, a minor Japanese party with 10 lawmakers, asked Fujimori earlier this year to run in July 29 elections for the upper house of the country's parliament. He had been expected to give his answer later in the week.
Fujimori spent five years in exile in Japan after fleeing Peru as his government collapsed under a corruption scandal.
Japan's government determined in 2000 that the ousted leader holds Japanese citizenship, after Tokyo confirmed that Fujimori's birth was registered with a local Japanese consulate in Peru and that he had never renounced his Japanese citizenship.
Despite the allegations, he is well received among the Japanese for his handling of a 1996 hostage crisis in Peru.
As president, he ordered the daring raid that freed 24 Japanese captives from guerrillas who had taken over the Japanese ambassador's residence.
In November 2005, Fujimori flew to Chile as part of an apparent bid to launch a political comeback in neighboring Peru. Chile has held Fujimori under house arrest for six months.
Fujimori was freed last year on the condition he not leave Chile, but earlier this month he was put back under house arrest after a Chilean prosecutor recommended his extradition to face charges of human rights abuses and corruption in Peru.