Anwar heading back to Japan

Anwar Ibrahim (left).

PETALING JAYA - PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was refused entry into Japan last month, is heading back there later this month.

Anwar is due to present a paper on Muslim democrats at a forum organised by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation on Feb 26.

The Opposition Leader said he accepted an invitation by foundation chairman Jiro Hanyu to the forum.

"I want to move on. There are bigger agendas for both countries, which have excellent bilateral relations," he said at a press conference in Malaysia yesterday. Hanyu was present.

"I do not foresee any problem; we have got the assurance. This 'deportation' is small compared to what I have endured in the past," said Anwar, who is his party's candidate for the March 23 Kajang by-election.

He was reportedly denied entry into Japan on Jan 19 because of his conviction in 1999.

On the Kajang by-election, Anwar brushed off claims that he had started campaigning, although the campaign period starts only from nomination day on March 11.

His former publicity chief and Perkasa information chief Ruslan Kassim had allegedly accused him of early campaigning and called for action to be taken against Anwar.

Meanwhile, Hanyu said he took responsibility for Anwar's expulsion and apologised for the "terrible experience" he had faced.

"I am the host. I feel responsible for Anwar's great embarrassment and experience.

"I apologise to him and hope the good relationship between the people of Malaysia and Japan is not affected."

Hanyu said he had issued letters to the relevant ministries in Japan seeking an explanation about the Opposition Leader's expulsion.