Subject: LUSA: Alkatiri Seeks Aid in Japan Visit

03 Dec 01 11:59 East Timor: Alkatiri Seeks Aid in Japan Visit

East Timorese Chief Minister Mari Alkatiri, on a visit to Tokyo, has reportedly said Dili welcomes plans for Japanese troops to join United Nations peacekeeping forces in the territory.

The Japanese Kyodo news agency reported Monday that Alkatiri expressed his openness to Japanese peacekeepers in a meeting with Tokyo´s foreign minister, Makiko Tanaka.

A spokesman for the foreign minister said Makiko emphasized the importance of Dili´s gaining grass-roots support for the deployment of Japanese troops in East Timor.

A number of East Timorese non-governmental organizations have publicly objected to the planned deployment, saying Tokyo should first pay compensation for human rights abuses committed in East Timor during its World War II occupation.

Alkatiri, who arrived in Tokyo Sunday for a three-day visit, is accompanied by Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta and Finance Minister Fernanda Borges.

The visit to Japan, a major contributor to aid and reconstruction programs in East Timor, comes ahead of an international donors conference set for Oslo Dec. 11-12.

SAS -Lusa-

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