THE father of a United States teenager, whose flogging sentence for spraying paint on cars in Singapore has led to a diplomatic dispute with its government, feels his son has been singled out for ``special treatment'' because he is American.
George Fay said in a telephone interview from Dayton, Ohio, that there were instances of people receiving much less severe punishment, although their offenses were worse than his son's.
President Clinton has called the punishment extreme and urged Singapore to reconsider it, but its foreign ministry said the government would not intervene. The human rights organization Amnesty International has listed judicial flogging as a human rights abuse.
Michael Fay is free on bail pending an appeal scheduled for today. Mr. Fay, whose paint marks were removed with paint thinner, was sentenced to six lashes with a four-foot-long, half-inch-thick bamboo rod wielded by a martial-arts expert. Apology to Japan
ON behalf of President Clinton, the United States ambassador in Tokyo, Walter Mondale, apologized for the slaying of two Japanese students by a carjacker in California, an attack that has renewed alarm in Japan over violence in America.
The Friday night shootings remained top news today in Japan, where the US increasingly is viewed as a dangerous place to visit.
``The American people deplore this senseless act of criminal violence, and we share in the sorrow of the Japanese people,'' the former US vice president said.
With relations already strained by a thorny trade dispute, Mondale sought to assuage anger over the killings, thrice urging that they be used to draw the two nations closer.
The killings have led the Foreign Ministry to warn Japanese to be extra careful when visiting the United States.
The deaths revived fears that flared after Yoshihiro Hattori, a Japanese high school student, was fatally shot in Baton Rouge, La., in 1992. Since Hattori's death, his parents have waged a personal anticrime campaign, collecting more than a quarter of a million signatures and meeting privately with President Clinton to appeal for an end to gun violence.