Soviet Singer Wins Award, Asks Asylum

United Press International

A singer described as one of the Soviet Union’s top tenors won $6,000 in a “Madama Butterfly” contest and then sought asylum in the United States, Japanese officials said Friday.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman identified the man as Vyacheslav M. Polozov, 36, a tenor from Byelorussia who arrived in Tokyo on May 14 for an international opera competition that ended Monday.

After winning the contest, Polozov skipped the awards party Wednesday night and instead turned up at a Tokyo police station, where he indicated he wanted to defect.