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Japan deported a Pakistani man last year suspected of being a member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, police said Wednesday.

The man, whose name is phonetically spelled as Naim Feroz, was arrested for violating immigration laws in May 2002 and then deported, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

He had been living in Arakawa Ward, Tokyo, and working as a painter, they said.

Police said they decided to search his home after obtaining information that he had undergone training at an al-Qaeda base in Afghanistan. They found documents indicating his ties to the group during the search.

They also suspect the man may have been in phone contact with al-Qaeda members in other countries during his stay in Japan, they said.

At a news conference later in the day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda tried to dispel concerns.

“We have to investigate the case thoroughly,” he said. “But we have yet to find concrete actions suggesting terrorism or to discover any extremist hideouts.”

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