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Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori marked his second anniversary of self-imposed exile in Japan on Tuesday with a vow to return to Peru, where he is wanted as a fugitive.

“I’m ready to fight a new battle,” Fujimori said in a statement issued through a spokesman, renewing his pledge to run in the 2006 presidential election in Peru.

Fujimori, 64, arrived in Japan on Nov. 17, 2000, while still in office, on an unscheduled visit after briefly attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Brunei.

He announced his resignation three days later, but the Congress refused to accept it and dismissed him as president.

Peru has since repeatedly sought his extradition from Japan on charges of dereliction of duty and abandonment of office.

Fujimori is also charged with corruption, and two charges of murder and kidnapping in connection with his alleged sanctioning of two massacres by a paramilitary death squad in the early 1990s.

He has maintained his innocence and accused his political enemies in Peru of making false accusations against him. He has repeatedly said he wants to return to Peru and run in the 2006 presidential election.

Fujimori is still a target of widespread criticism in the South American nation, and the Peruvian legislature has barred him from taking any public office in the nation for 10 years.

Japan has rejected repeated requests from the Peruvian government to hand over Fujimori on the grounds that the former president has Japanese citizenship and thus can stay in the country indefinitely.

Fujimori was born in Peru to Japanese immigrants from Kumamoto Prefecture.

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