Two suspected Japanese Aum cultists barred from entering Philippines

MANILA–Two Japanese suspected of being members of the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult have been barred from entering the Philippines, officials said Monday.

The cult was held responsible for a nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway station in 1995 that killed 12 people and injured hundreds.

Immigration commissioner Alipio Fernandez said Koichi Ninomiya and Hiroki Tsuno would be denied entry if they attempted to visit the country. He said he had received reports that the two were scheduled to visit Manila within the next few days.

“The government cannot take chances by allowing the entry of aliens who are considered threats to our peace and security,” Fernandez said in a statement.

The Philippine embassy in Tokyo had earlier warned that the two were planning to visit the country this week and stay for two days, the immigration bureau said. It did not specify the reason for their planned visit.

Ninomiya and Tsuno previously visited Manila separately, the bureau’s records showed. They are alleged to be ranking members of the Aum cult of guru Shoko Asahara.

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