Japan is about to take the plunge into an independent Mideast diplomacy with the Oct. 12 visit to Tokyo by Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat.
Arafat has been invited for a four-day stay by a parliamentary group representing several parties, not the government. But in every other respect, it is an official visit. He will meet Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki, Foreign Minister Sunao Sonoda, and opposition party, business, and labor leaders.
Sources admit that apart from the Communist bloc virtually no country has given Arafat the sort of treatment he will receive in Tokyo.
The Japanese have not gone along with all PLO requests. They refused to issue a communique at the end of the visit and the government also rejected a PLO request for diplomatic privileges for its Tokyo office.m