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Japan Lawyers Eye Accusing S. Korean Cult Leaders of Rape

Kyodo News Service, Japan
July 29, 2006 • Saturday July 29, 2006

TOKYO, July 29–(Kyodo) — A group of Japanese lawyers is considering filing a criminal complaint with police accusing leaders of a South Korea-originated cult of raping female Japanese followers, the group said Saturday.

Hiroshi Watanabe, who heads the lawyers’ group, said at a news conference the lawyers are considering of filing charges against Jung Myung Seok, founder of the group JMS and the leader of a Japanese arm of the cult called “Setsuri,” or providence, in Japanese.

South Korean authorities have put Jung, 61, on an international wanted list on rape charges.

Watanabe said the head of the Japanese group persuaded Japanese women to join the cult, introduced them to Jung and took them to Jung’s hideout.

Jung is said to have raped the women, pretending to conduct breast cancer checks on them in many cases, Watanabe said.

The Japanese lawyers allege Jung raped the victims while they were under mind control.

JMS was established in South Korea around 1980 and became active in Japan around 1987. The Setsuri sect is believed to have more than 2,000 followers, most of them students and other youngsters, the lawyers said.

The cult has no headquarters in Japan and uses apartment buildings as its offices.

Watanabe said Setsuri usually passes itself off as a sports, music or cheerleading club on campuses as well as groups of models and urged administrators of universities and colleges to take measures to prevent members of the cult from trying to invite students to join it.

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