Nancy Reagan said through an aide yesterday that she does not remember giving an interview to journalists from a Japanese women's magazine last January, but she does have a "faint recollection" of a brief photo session with them.
Meanwhile, Rosalynn Carter's press secretary said that when the same magazine interviewed Mrs. Carter during her husband's presidency, it offered no honorarium as it did for the Reagan interview, but instead sent a thank-you note.
The events surrounding the Jan. 21 interview of Mrs. Reagan that appeared in the March edition of the Japanese magazine, Shufu no Tomo, are under investigation by the Justice Department because an envelope filled with $1,000 intended as a thank-you fee was found eight months later in a safe used by President Reagan's national security adviser, Richard V. Allen.
Through her press secretary, Sheila Tate, Mrs. Reagan yesterday also denied telling the Japanese author, Fuyuko Kamisaka, that she had suffered two miscarriages and that these incidents had strengthened her views against abortion, as the magazine reported. "She never expressed those thoughts in any interview," Tate said. "Beyond that, we feel it is inappropriate to discuss it while it is under review at Justice."
Allen acknowledged Friday that he had received the envelope from the Japanese journalists because he did not want to embarrass them because, he said, it was a custom in Japan to pay an honorarium to important people for interviews.
From Tokyo, spokesmen for the magazine have said its representatives initiated the idea of giving the money to Mrs. Reagan. Allen has denied that he had any discussions with anyone regarding the payment.
"I can't recall any money being exchanged for any interview at any time in any country by any person," said Mary Finch Hoyt, who served as press secretary to Mrs. Carter. She called such a practice "unheard of" in her experience of arranging thousands of interviews for Mrs. Carter with foreign journalists.
Hoyt said that reporter Kyoko Fukao of the Shufu no Tomo staff interviewed Mrs. Carter in October, 1978, on an airplane flight. The article appeared with color photographs in January, 1979.
After the interview, Hoyt recalled yesterday, "we received a letter thanking us for the interview during the busy campaign schedule" and promising to send a copy of the article after it appeared.