JAKARTA -- The government said Thursday it has paid a $2.85 million to Dewi Sukarno, the Japanese-born widow of Indonesia's first president, to compensate her for a house she was given by her late husband.
The minister of state, Secretary Murdiono, told Indonesian reporters on board an airplane from Tunis to Seattle, that a piece of land owned by Dewi in the western Java city of Bogor also would be returned immediately to her.
The land has been occupied by a government agency. Murdiono said the compensation paid to Dewi was $2.85 million, or $2.38 billion after taxes.
Murdiono was en route to Seattle to accompany President Suharto at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit slated for Friday.
The government agreed to pay her the compensation after the 53-year- old Dewi expressed her disappointment to the Indonesian government and claimed she was being treated poorly by Jakarta.
Dewi, who now lives in Paris, visited Jakarta for a few-day last week amid criticism from government ministers and public figures about her for releasing a book containing nude photographs.
Indonesian Minister of Women Affairs Mien Sugandhi asked the country's authorities to take firm action against Dewi and deport her to Japan.
The government banned distribution of the book in the country because it claimed the publication 'could besmirch the name of the president' and could create 'uneasiness' by disrupting public order.
Dewi defended the book, however, entitled 'Madame of Syuga' or 'Superior in Elegnce,' by claiming the work is artistic.
Sukarno, the flamboyant and charismatic Indonesian leader, maried Dewi, a trained geisha originally named Naoko Nemoto, in 1962 and changed her name to one he preferred -- Ratna Sari Dewi.
In an interview with the Indonesian tabloid Detik, a high government official was quoted as saying that Dewi kept secret documents during the last days of Sukarno's rule.
Sukarno was ousted by Suharto after the bloody turmoil that followed a failed left-wing communist coup attempt in 1965, which the current president helped to foil. Suharto has ruled the nation since first taking office in 1966.