Japan Public Security Agency Inspects Aum-Linked Groups

Society

Tokyo, July 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Public Security Intelligence Agency conducted on Friday simultaneous on-site inspections at facilities belonging to religious organizations with ties to the now-defunct doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo.

The move comes a day before the one-year anniversary of the execution of former cult leader Chizuo Matsumoto, then 63. Matsumoto, who went by the name of Shoko Asahara, was executed for his involvement in a series of crimes committed by Aum, including a deadly sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system in 1995.

The inspection is aimed at gaining understanding of the inner workings of the groups, including whether the successor cult Aleph continues to worship Matsumoto after his execution.

At around 2 p.m. (5 a.m. GMT), 15 staff members from the agency entered a training hall belonging to Aleph in Adachi Ward, Tokyo. Several agency members also entered the headquarters of the splinter group "Hikari no Wa" in the capital's Setagawa Ward at around the same time.

The Justice Ministry executed seven Aum-related death-row inmates, including Matsumoto, on July 6 last year. Others executed on the day include Kiyohide Hayakawa, then 68, and Yoshihiro Inoue, then 48.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press