TOKYO, Feb. 20–(Kyodo)– The Tokyo District Court on Monday ordered the operator of Wako University to pay 300,000 yen in damages to a daughter of Shoko Asahara, founder of a religious cult formerly known as AUM Shinrikyo, saying it was illegal to deny her entry after she passed the school’s entrance exam.
Presiding Judge Hiroshi Noyama said in handing down the ruling that Wako Gakuen “lacked the willingness to carefully study the situation, easily concluding that danger could arise by enrolling her and refused her entry.”
The 22-year-old third daughter of Asahara, 50, had demanded 3.5 million yen.
A Wako University official said the school gravely accepts the ruling.
Asahara’s daughter passed the entrance exam for the human relations study department of Wako University in Machida, western Tokyo, in early 2004, according to the ruling.
The university, however, refused to enroll her in March that year, partly because of who her father is.
Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, has been sentenced to death by the Tokyo District Court for his role in 13 criminal cases, including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system. He has appealed the ruling to the Tokyo High Court.
Bunkyo University, based in Tokyo, also canceled admission of his daughter in March 2004, but decided to enroll her after the court ruled the following month that she be recognized as a student of the university.
She is currently enrolled at Bunkyo University.