The Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, has offered his help in resolving the crisis over North Korea's nuclear programme.
Japanese government officials said the offer was made during a meeting with the country's Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, in Tokyo.
Both men agreed on the need for international teamwork and Mr Castro said he could relay messages to North Korea and help Japan in any way possible.
Although Cuba maintains friendly relations with Pyongyang, Mr Castro said he wasn't close to the present leadership.
He said he didn't have precise information about the situation in the country.
Japanese officials said Mr Castro had speculated that the crisis surrounding Iraq could be resolved without war.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service