KYODO: JAPANESE SAYS U.S. POW'S SEEN IN SRV IN 1988

Created: 6/7/1989

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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KYODO:"JAPANESE. POW'S SEEN IN SRV IN8OKYO KYODO IN ENGLISH9UN 89

(TEXT* TOKYO. YODOORMER JAPANESE DETAINEE IN VIETNAM SAID WEDNESDAY FIVE OR SIX AMERICAN PRISONERS OF WAR <POWS) WERE STILL IN CAPTIVITY WHEN HE LEFT THE COUNTRY LAST

IWANOBU YOSHIDA,UDDHIST MONK, TOLD KYODO NEWS SERVICE THAT THERE WERE ABOUTMERICAN POWS WHEN HE WAS FIRST DETAINED IN VIETNAMOLITICAL PRISONER IN

YOSHIDA, WHO IS NOW HOSPITALIZED IN SAPPORO, SAID THEY WERE BEING FORCED TO ENGAGE IN CONSTRUCTION WORK.

U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS RECEIVED THE SAME INFORMATION IN TOKYO FROM YOSHIDA'S ELDEST DAUGHTER, KEIKO TAKATSUKA,

"THE REPORTS ARE NOT UNBELIEVABLE. THERE IS NO REASON TOSTORY AND HER. OFFICIAL WHO DECLINED TO"

"WE'LL SEND ALL REPORTS AND MATERIALS TO. TO BE STUDIED BY EXPERTS. WE WILL NOT ASSESS OR VERIFY THE REPORTS HERE, THOUGH THEY ARE VERYHE OFFICIAL SAID.

TAKATSUKA OUOTED YOSHIDA AS SAYING HE SPENT THE LAST SEVEN YEARS INANOI PRISON, WHERE THE POWS SPOKE ENGLISH AND CALLED HIM "JAP."

THE FOREIGN DETAINEES WERE CALLED AMERICANS BY VIETNAMESE POLITICAL PRISONERS THERE. ONE OF THEM HELPED YOSHIDA WALK ON DISCOVERING HE HAD LEG TROUBLE, TAKATSUKA SAID.

YOSHIDA,OLITICIAN TURNED BUDDHIST PRIEST, EMIGRATED TO VIETNAM 6 AND WAS GRANTED CITIZENSHIP BY THE THEN GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH VIETNAM IN HE WAS DETAINEDOLITICAL PRISONER AFTER THE FALL OF SOUTH VIETNAM IN5 AND SPENT MORE THANEARS IN CAPTIVITY. HE RETURNED TO JAPAN LAST JANUARY.

THE VIETNAMESE EMBASSY IN TOKYO REFUTED YOSHIDA'S REMARKS AND SAID THAT AS THE VIETNAMESE GOVERNMENT HAS REPEATEDLY STATED IN THE PAST, THERE ARE NO AMERICAN SOLDIERS LIVING IN THE COUNTRY.

EMBASSY OFFICIALS SAID THEY HAVE NEVER HEARD THAT AMERICAN POWS ARE STILL BEING HELD IN VIETNAM.

. GOVERNMENT HAS INSISTED ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT AMERICAN WAR PRISONERS ARE STILL BEING DETAINED IN VIETNAM AND HAS DEMANDED HANOI PROVIDE INFORMATION CONCERNING AMERICAN POWS.

YOSHIDA SAID HE HAS NO DETAILS ABOUT THE AMERICAN PRISONERS BECAUSE THEY WERE DETAINEDEPARATE BUILDING.

HE SAID HE WAS NOT IN DIRECT VERBAL CONTACT WITH THE AMERICANS BECAUSE HE COULD HOT SPEAK ENGLISH. .

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