Members of ‘research group’ erect checkpoint on Gifu road

Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Apr. 30, 2003

A group that claims to be researching electromagnetic waves has been blocking a municipal mountain road in Gifu Prefecture without permission since late last week.

Members of Panawave Laboratory, a suspected Fukui-based cult, have parked about 15 vehicles, including refrigerated trucks, along one kilometer of a road between Hachimancho and Yamatocho, the town governments said.

On Saturday, group members wearing white clothing set up a so-called checkpoint near a fork in the road.

The road is about five meters wide near the fork and trucks have been unable to pass by.

The town governments asked the group Monday to clear the road in the interest of public safety. The group members, however, refused to leave, saying that there was a sick person among them.

Police and the town governments are investigating whether the group is violating traffic laws.

According to sources, the group has blocked roads to carry out its research in many places around the country, including Aomori, Kagawa, Kanagawa and Okayama prefectures and Nagoya.

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