Kyodo (Japan), Aug. 7, 2002
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday ordered Yokohama’s Naka Ward to process a moving-in document submitted by a priest in the AUM Shinrikyo cult.
The court found the action illegal and ordered the city to pay the man 8,000 yen in compensation.
Presiding Judge Tamio Okamitsu said he found no reason to justify the ward’s refusal.
“It won’t take longer than four months to reach a decision on whether to accept the document,” the judge said, adding the plaintiff was cooperative in an investigation the ward promised to conduct to ascertain his move.
The man demanded the court acknowledge the illegality of the ward’s action and wanted 1 million yen in compensation.
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According to the verdict, the 41-year-old priest moved into an AUM facility in the ward on July 30, 2001, and submitted a document to the ward the following day. But the ward’s resident-registry section refused to process it, telling him it would look into his move.
In Japan, registration documents must be submitted when moving to a different municipality.
Courts elsewhere have also given similar verdicts regarding the cultists’ moves, ordering municipalities to accept documents from members of AUM, which now calls itself Aleph, and compensate plaintiffs.