Japan issued a deportation order today against former world chess champion Bobby Fischer, who is wanted in the United States for defying sanctions, but his lawyer immediately filed an appeal, blocking the move.
A Japanese immigration official said Justice Minister Daizo Nozawa had rejected a previous appeal by Fischer against deportation, issued a deportation order and notified him of the order.
Fischer's request for refugee status had also been rejected, the official said.
Following a deportation order, a person would normally be sent to the home country, she said, but she declined to give details on Fischer.
Fischer's lawyer, Masako Suzuki, said she had filed with the Tokyo District Court for a cancellation of the deportation order and also filed for a suspension of the implementation of the order, told ABC.
Fischer became world chess champion in 1972 when he beat Spassky of the Soviet Union in a victory touted as a Cold War propaganda coup for the United States.
He lost the title three years later after chess officials rejected his conditions for defending his crown against Anatoly Karpov, also of the Soviet Union. Karpov became champion by default.
Fischer vanished after the 1992 match but resurfaced after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States to praise the attacks in an interview with a Philippine radio station.
His supporters say he renewed his U.S. passport in Switzerland in 1997 and never received a letter issued in December 2003 revoking it. They say U.S. officials have also acknowledged that he had not received such a letter.
U.S. State Department officials have said it took years for the legal process to catch up with him, informs Swisspolitics.
Immigration authorities can deport Fischer quickly and would normally return an individual to their home country, the immigration official said. She declined to give details of Fischer's case.
Fischer, 61, one of the chess world's great eccentrics, has been wanted at home since 1992, when he violated economic sanctions by going to Yugoslavia and winning $3 million (1.67 million pounds) in a chess match in which he beat old rival Boris Spassky.
Since his detention, Fischer has been trying to renounce his U.S. citizenship. However, he can only do that by speaking in person to a U.S. official, according to Reuters.