TOKYO (Dec. 15)
The Foreign Ministry has denied reports from Austria that President Kurt Waldheim was invited to visit Japan by Emperor Hirohito. Waldheim’s office in Vienna said last Friday that the President, who remains diplomatically isolated since his Nazi past was revealed, had been invited to make an official visit to Japan in June.
But a Foreign Ministry official here said there apparently had been a misunderstanding when an Austrian diplomat in Tokyo met Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari, and said Waldheim would like to visit Japan someday.
“We never extended an invitation,” the official said. “We said Waldheim was welcome to visit Japan, as we do with any country that has diplomatic relations (with Japan). If the head of state wants to come to Japan, he’s very welcome … but we didn’t invite him.”