Fukui Prefecture considers ways to block ‘white cult’

Mainichi Daily News (Japan), May 7, 2003

FUKUI — Municipalities in Fukui Prefecture are considering sealing off roads in a bid to block the notorious white-garbed Panawave Laboratory cult from occupying areas in their territories, officials said Wednesday.

The Izumi and Ono municipal governments are discussing sealing off roads leading to Fukui where the cult has its main “laboratory.”

“We will prevent cult members from accessing village roads from national and prefectural highways,” an official of the Izumi Municipal Government said. Cult members occupied an area in the village of Izumi over a six-month period until the end of last April.

Officials of the municipal government of Ono, located along a road leading into Fukui, are considering a similar measure.

Panawave members pledged Wednesday to leave the scenic Kurumayama highlands in Chino, Nagano Prefecture, where they are staying by Thursday morning, and declared that the cult will return to Fukui via Nagano and Gifu prefectures.

They made the announcement in response to requests made by Chino Mayor Kazuhiro Yazaki and local residents.

Dressed in white ‘protective’ costume, members of the bizarre and mysterious cult have illegally occupied numerous roads and other areas, parking their white cars en masse and frequently causing trouble with local residents.

(Compiled from Mainichi and wire reports, May 7, 2003)

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