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An influential Japanese politician said today he has volunteered to be Bobby Fischer's legal guarantor and urged immigration authorities to release the former world chess champion from an airport detention cell where he is being processed for deportation.

Ichiji Ishii, a former deputy foreign minister and three-term member of Parliament, said he was volunteering to support Fischer "as a person who likes chess, and as a friend." To be released, Fischer needs a Japanese citizen to guarantee that he won't leave the country.

Japanese authorities on Tuesday turned down an appeal against their decision to deport Fischer for allegedly traveling on an invalid passport.

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