Japan: Security agency calls for extension of surveillance of Aum cult

Agency also wants to keep tabs on Aum splinter group

The Public Security Investigation Agency submitted a request Monday to extend surveillance of the Aum Supreme Truth cult and a splinter group for three more years.

The agency decided to file the request with the Public Security Examination Commission, concluding that the group could commit indiscriminate mass murders because it is still under the strong influence of founder, Chizuo Matsumoto, 53, also known as Shoko Asahara, according to sources close to the agency. This is the third time the agency has submitted a request to renew surveillance on the cult under the Subversive Organizations Control Law.

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The agency also asked for the surveillance extension to include Hikari no Wa, a new group established by Fumihiro Joyu, a 45-year-old former senior Aum member. The agency believes the splinter group is still integral to the cult.

Aum, currently named Aleph, has been placed under surveillance since 2000 under the Subversive Organizations Control Law, which entitles the agency to conduct inspections of Aum-related facilities.

The commission is expected to make a decision on the request by the end of January.

After Matsumoto’s death sentence was finalized in September 2006, there was a fractious split among former Aum members into two groups, one loyal to Joyu, who insists on the need to distance his group from Matsumoto, and the other committed to a return to Aum’s original principles under Matsumoto.
(Dec. 2, 2008)

– Source: Security agency calls for extension of surveillance of Aum cult, The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan), Dec. 2, 2008

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday December 2, 2008.
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