Japan Joins the Fujimori Team

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LIMA, Peru: After getting no satisfactory response to his statement of concern on Monday about the way Peruvian police are handling the hostage crisis, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto urged Fujimori again Tuesday to show restraint, saying Peru should "exercise sufficient caution so as not to bring about an unexpected situation." Peru president Alberto Fujimori is seeking to placate Japan by including it in Peru's efforts to end the crisis. The Japanese continue to press for a negotiated end to the standoff. It is unclear what role they will play in the negotiations. Although a location for talks has now been selected, and Peru's Roman Catholic Church has agreed to monitor prison conditions for Tupac Amaru rebels, Fujimori and rebel leader Nestor Cerpa remain at odds on the one issue both say is non-negotiable: the freeing of Cerpa's jailed Tupac Amaru comrades. Fujimori's inclusion of the Japanese may be pure gesture, or he may be itching to win Japan's permission for an assault on the compound, neither of which would bode particularly well for the 72 hostages still inside.