Aum Shinri-kyo and Related Controversies
The Public Security Investigation Agency on Wednesday inspected two Aum Shinrikyo facilities in Tokyo in an effort to determine how they are being used by the cult's members, agency officials said.
The agency also wishes to assess how many cultists are currently living the two properties, the officials added.
One facility is a house in Sanno, Ota Ward, at which the 38-year-old top-level member, Fumihiro Joyu, has been staying. The other is an apartment building in Minami-Karasuyama, Setagaya Ward, the officials said.
Aum rented the Minami-Karasuyama building, which is capable of accommodating up to 100 people, in mid-December as a residential-training facility, they said.
Joyu moved into the Sanno house in December, following unsuccessful relocations to various areas within Tokyo. His attempts to settle in these locations were dogged by residents' protests.
Following his release from prison in December 1999, after serving a three-year term for perjury and document falsification, Joyu lived in Yokohama until September.
The two Aum facilities in Tokyo were examined by the agency for the first time under a new law authorizing inspections of this kind.
The legislation took effect in December 1999. Having been officially targeted at Aum last February, the law tightens government control of the group in order to alleviate the concerns of the public.
Aum founder Shoko Asahara and many other cultists are on trial or have been tried for a raft of heinous crimes, including the March 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 people and injured thousands, and another killer nerve gas attack the previous year.
TOKYO - Fumihiro Joyu, a leading member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, said Thursday he has moved to an apartment in Minami-Karasuyama in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward from another facility in Ota Ward.
Joyu, 38, told reporters he plans to stay there longer following unsuccessful attempts to live to various areas of Tokyo, where he has been dogged by protests from residents. He asked local residents for their ''understanding.''
Before relocating to Tokyo, Joyu lived in Yokohama up until last September following his release from jail in December 1999 after serving a three-year term for perjury and document falsification.
The Public Security Investigation Agency has said AUM, which now calls itself Aleph, rented the five-story Minami-Karasuyama apartment building, capable of accommodating up to 100 people, in mid-December as a residential-training facility.
AUM founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, and many other cultists have been tried on a number of charges, including the March 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway which killed 12 people and injured thousands.
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