Aum Shinri-kyo and Related Controversies
The eldest daughter of AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara appears to be locked in a power struggle with the doomsday cult's leaders, according to police sources. Metropolitan Police Department officials suspect that the eldest daughter, 21, whose name is being withheld, wanted to unite those faithful to her in the cult to form an opposition group.
They harbored the suspicion after analyzing e-mails she wrote in February to a member of AUM, which has changed its name to Aleph in a bid to overcome its infamous reputation.
One of the e-mails reads, "I want you to summon those who will choose me to the food-making division in Gifu (Prefecture)."
Other e-mails suggest that she is critical of the way AUM's top brass is running the cult. "I will never give in to things I don't believe in," one of them says.
Police confiscated a laptop computer containing the e-mails from a car after a female AUM member caused an accident when driving the vehicle in Tokyo's Chuo-ku on April 22. The eldest daughter was arrested for illegal possession of a knife.
Police officials said that a memo by the former member found in the car further revealed that Asahara's children were involved in internal strife in the cult.
The memo concerns the abduction of the guru's eldest son by cult members from an Asahi, Ibaraki Prefecture, facility in January.
AUM members, including Asahara's second and third daughters, were arrested after they broke into the facility in Asahi and kidnapped the 7-year-old eldest son.
After the abduction, high-ranking AUM members allegedly asked the eldest daughter to write a note explaining that the abduction was only the result of a quarrel between siblings.
The cult had planned to submit the note to police, the officials said.
But the eldest daughter, according to the memo found in the car, refused to comply with the request. "She said she didn't want to write a fictitious report," it says.
One of the daughter's e-mails supports the note theory as it criticized the cult's request to write the note, saying that it was part of a plot against her and her supporters.
The eldest daughter had reportedly lived with the abducted son in the Asahi facility to protect and take care of the boy.
TOKYO, April 24 (Kyodo) - The National Tax Administration has seized 40,000 yen in bank deposits by one of two companies linked with AUM Shinrikyo after they failed to pay income and punitive taxes, industry sources said Monday.
The administration's Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau had ordered Poseidon, a personal computer marketing company, and SBR, a computer parts wholesaler, to pay a combined 700 million yen in income tax and penalties, after they failed to declare the similar amount of taxable income in 1997 and 1998, the sources said.
Managers and employees of the two firms, which were established around 1995, are AUM members, according to police sources.
The two companies closed their shops and became dormant after the tax bureau began investigating them in June last year, the sources said. Poseidon had only 40,000 yen in its bank account when it was seized by the tax bureau, they said.
On March 21, the tax bureau ordered Poseidon and SBR to pay the tax and penalties, according to the sources.
Usually, payment should be made within a month from the day such an order is issued, but the bureau had demanded payment by early April, the sources said.
Computer software companies affiliated with AUM were recently reported to have produced software for a number of government offices and major companies.
AUM founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, is on trial in 17 criminal cases that include murder and attempted murder charges in the March 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.
Police on Saturday arrested the eldest daughter of AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara for illegally possessing a knife, investigators said.
The arrest of Asahara's daughter, 21, came when officials searched the car that she had been traveling in after it had collided with another vehicle early Saturday morning in Tokyo's Chuo-ku.
The car in which Asahara's daughter was riding was driven by another female member of AUM, which now calls itself Aleph.
Police said that the car collided with another vehicle at about 2 a.m.
After the accident, Asahara's daughter, whose name is being withheld, refused for 12 hours to comply with the police investigators' request to get out of her car.
The investigators then opted to tow the car to the Chuo Police Station.
They arrested the daughter after discovering she was illegally in possession of a knife, which was wrapped in a towel.
When AUM members, including Asahara's second and third daughters, abducted Asahara's son from a facility in Asahi, Ibaraki Prefecture, in January, sources familiar with the cult said that confrontation between the eldest daughter and the third daughter might have been a cause of the abduction.
TOKYO (AP) - The oldest daughter of the former leader of the cult that gassed Tokyo's subways in 1995 was arrested Saturday on suspicion of illegal possession of a knife.
Police arrested Miwa Matsumoto, 21, the daughter of Shoko Asahara, after she was brought in for questioning about her involvement in a minor road accident in Tokyo early Saturday morning.
She was found carrying a fruit knife with a 3.7-inch blade wrapped in a towel, said a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
Police detained her on suspicion she violated Japan's strict Firearms and Sword Possession Control Law because she had no legitimate reason to be carrying such a knife, the spokesman said. He said he didn't know what penalty she could face if convicted.
Asahara is on trial for allegedly masterminding the Aum Shinri Kyo cult's 1995 nerve gas attack, which killed 12 people and injured thousands of others.
Matsumoto had disappeared from a cult facility northeast of Tokyo in January, the same month that Asahara's seven-year-old son was briefly kidnapped by six cult members, including another of his daughters, Kyodo News agency reported.
Kyodo quoted Matsumoto as telling police she had been carrying the knife for protection since the abduction.
In Saturday's accident, Matsumoto was a passenger in a van that collided with a car in central Tokyo. The van was driven by a female cult member who was not arrested, police said.
TOKYO, April 22 (Kyodo) - The eldest daughter of Shoko Asahara, the founder of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of possessing a knife, after she was discovered in a traffic accident in Tokyo.
Miwa Matsumoto, 21, had been missing ever since her 7-year-old brother was abducted by two of her sisters and four others from an AUM facility where she was staying in Asahi, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, in January.
Miwa was held after a station wagon in which she was riding collided with a car driven by a 46-year-old female bar manager in Tokyo's Chuo Ward at 1:55 a.m.
The driver of the station wagon was also an AUM follower.
Miwa was not injured in the accident, but the bar manager sustained slight injuries to her face.
Police found the knife while questioning Miwa, who refused to get out of the car for almost 14 hours after the accident, and arrested her on suspicion of violating the Firearms and Sword Possession Control Law.
She told police she had been carrying the knife, a 9.3-centimeter blade found in her coat pocket, for her own protection ever since she left the Asahi facility, according to police.
Asahara, 45, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, and his wife have four daughters and two sons. The couple are in custody for their alleged involvement in a series of AUM-related crimes.
Asahara is on trial for his alleged role in at least 17 major crimes, including masterminding the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, which killed 12 people and injured more than 5,000.
Miwa's two teenage sisters were later arrested on suspicion of trespassing in the abduction of her brother, who was rescued unhurt.
On April 4, the Mito Family Court released the two sisters, aged 19 and 17, on probation.
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