Kyodo (Japan), Dec. 4, 2002
MITO — The Mito District Court on Tuesday ordered the town of Sanwa in Ibaraki Prefecture to rescind its decision to reject residency registrations submitted by six members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult.
The court also ordered the eastern Japan town to pay 30,000 yen in compensation to each of the plaintiffs.
According to the ruling, the plaintiffs submitted residency registrations to Sanwa but it rejected them in April and September, saying the local peace would be disturbed by the cultists.
Members of Aum are accused of having launched sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system on March 20, 1995.
The plaintiffs had argued that their basic human rights were violated and they suffered emotional stress because of the rejection. Sanwa defended the move, saying it was respecting locals’ opinions and took into consideration the social effect of their residency.
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On Nov 26, the court ordered Sanwa to pay a total of about 2 million yen to 21 members of the cult in a similar suit.
The founder of Aum Shinrikyo, Shoko Asahara, is being tried on various criminal charges including ones related to the 1995 Tokyo subway gassing that left 12 people dead and 5,000 others sickened.