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Monday, 20 January 2014 | MYT 6:11 PM

Anifah: Anwar denied entry due to Japan's immigration law

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was denied entry into Japan due to the country's immigration law, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said.

"Every nation has a sovereign right to deny a person entry into the country if the immigration authorities deemed the person undesirable.

"In such cases, there is no obligation to explain why they (immigration authorities) are exercising this right," he told reporters.

Anifah also denied Anwar's claim that Wisma Putra was behind the incident, saying that the Japanese authorities had invoked Article 5 of its Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to bar Anwar from entering Japan.

"It is unthinkable that Wisma Putra or I could have such influence over another sovereign country.

"We have nothing to do with it," he said.

He also denied Anwar's claims that he may have been barred from entering Japan due to a 2013 report on him from Wisma Putra.

"I have never submitted any reports (on Anwar) to Japan. 

"Why would we need to submit any report to stop from him from travelling to other countries when his (Anwar's) conviction is public knowledge," he added.

Anifah said Wisma Putra had contacted the Malaysian Embassy in Tokyo for clarification over the matter as it involved a Malaysian citizen and "not because it was Anwar."

"It doesn't matter if the person is from the government or opposition. To us, Anwar is a Malaysian citizen," he added.

He said there was no necessity for Wisma Putra to pursue Japan for an explanation or take the matter any further, adding that the Malaysian immigration authorities had also denied entry to an Australian senator last year.

Japanese Embassy spokesman Tomoko Nagai said the embassy would not comment until a report was received from Tokyo.


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