Tokyo Court Backs Extended Surveillance of Aum-Linked Group

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 28 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo High Court on Thursday acknowledged the validity of an extension of the state surveillance period for a group linked to the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, overturning a lower court decision.

The Hikari no Wa splinter group of Aleph, the main successor to Aum, had claimed that the fifth extension in January 2015 of the surveillance period under the Japanese organization control law was unjust, seeking to have the extension canceled.

In September 2017, Tokyo District Court canceled the extension, a decision appealed by the government.

Under the law, groups that have committed indiscriminate mass murders can be placed under state surveillance. The surveillance lasts for up to three years and can be extended.

In the high court trial, the government insisted that many Hikari no Wa members were Aum followers when the cult conducted a deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system in 1995. No major change is evident between Aum and Hikari no Wa in their systems, it said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press