The Return of the Last Samurai

Chile‘s Supreme Court has approved the extradition of Peru’s former President Alberto Fujimori. He is to be sent back to Peru, where he faces charges of human rights abuse and corruption - which he denies. Mr Fujimori - the son of Japanese immigrants to Peru - was arrested when he arrived in Chile from Japan in November 2005. He went there in a failed attempt to run in last year’s Peruvian presidential elections.

We’re going to risk saying something which may turn out in hindsight to have been ridiculous. We believe Fujimori will win back the Peruvian presidency. If not exactly that, at least a very prominent role in Peruvian politics. And by extension in South American politics. The odds seem totally against him at the moment. He faces jail. But he would not be the first to face jail, coming out victorious anyway.

We’re not a Fujimori-fan

Don’t think that because we write in favor of Fujimori, we are a fan of his. We are fans of nobody. We know that Fujimori is no ordinary man. He has a sharp political insight. He was able as a foreigner to win presidential elections in Peru. The Peruvian and Japanese peoples have a lot in common. Both are serious hard workers. The fact that Peru is a poor country is not due to any laxness of the Peruvian people. Where the root-cause of Peru’s slow development lies, we do not know. But we do know where it does not lie.

With Fujimori’s return, Peru’s sitting president Alan Garcia is importing a huge problem. Fujimori is still very popular in Peru. His daughter Keiko is in the Peruvian Congress. Fujimori has powerful friends in Japan, where he recently failed to win a seat in the Japanese Parliament (‘Diet’). During these elections, which he fought while under house arrest in Chile, he called himself ‘The Last Samurai’. We have a feeling we haven’t heard and seen the last of this Samurai. Even if he loses all, he cannot fail to have won the respect of the entire world.

We repeat: we are not a Fujimori-fan

It’s just that when you encounter an extraordinary person, you cannot fail to recognize his greatness. Fujimori is such a person. And we risk predicting that this is the beginning of a close political alliance between JapanPeru, similar to the alliance between EU-states. The Peruvian people will understand …. This is excellent news.

Our video today is pure Fujimori propaganda. But there is some truth behind it. Not all propaganda is all lies. Fujimori is very popular. The video is in Spanish, but English readers will understand most of it.