The Panamanian President, Mr Aristides Royo said on Wednesday (26 March) that Panama would not become involved again in the fate of the former Shah of Iran.
GV & SV Nippon Press Centre building with Panamanian and Japanese flags flying outside building (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Newsmen applaud as Panamanian President, Mr Aristides Royo enters and takes seat on rostrum
SV Panamanian President speaking in Spanish
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Background: The Panamanian President, Mr Aristides Royo said on Wednesday (26 March) that Panama would not become involved again in the fate of the former Shah of Iran. President Royo was speaking in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, during a five-day official visit.
SYNOPSIS: The Panamanian leader told a news conference that Panama gave refuge to the former Shah in December last year in an unsuccessful attempt to reduce tension between Iran and the United States. But, he said Panama now had no intention of taking the issue of the deposed Shah into consideration.
The aim of President Royo's visit was to seek Japan's co-operation in Panama's plan to build a second canal linking the pacific and Atlantic oceans. He is the first Panamanian head of state to visit Japan, and held two rounds of talks with the prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira. According to government sources, Japan showed interest in taking part in the canal project. The Japanese are one of the biggest users of the present canal and want to co-operate in a feasibility study with other countries friendly to Panama and the United States.
Panama's plan is to construct a sea-level canal to replace the existing one linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The Panama canal is 42 miles (67 kilometres) long and the new proposal is for a canal 61 miles long (98 kilometres). During his talks with the Japanese Prime Minister, the Panamanian leader also asked for increased Japanese investment in Panama, and more technical aid.