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A Tokyo hotel refused to provide accommodations for an American AIDS sufferer who was in Japan to speak at a symposium on the disease, hotel officials said Tuesday.

Organizers of the symposium, titled "Living with AIDS," requested reservations at the Hotel Toshi Center for Sean Duque, 38, who addressed the one-day event last Thursday.But the hotel rejected the request.

"We don't want AIDS patients to stay because our customers will feel uneasy. We're not equipped with hygiene measures," said an official at the hotel, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Duque, a singer-songwriter from Honolulu, developed AIDS about four years ago and has been active in efforts to educate people about the disease.

"Image is very important for hotels like us," the hotel official said.

The organizers could not be contacted immediately for comment.

It was apparently the first reported case involving a hotel refusing an AIDS patient, although the official said other hotels have similar policies.