Yamanashi Pref. blocks roads

Yomiuri Shimbun/May 2003

The Yamanashi prefectural government Friday closed two forest roads to prevent a convoy of cult members wearing white garments from entering Oizumimura in the prefecture, where the cult is constructing dome-shaped buildings.

The prefectural government is planning to close more roads leading to the village, which is considered a possible destination for the members of a group called Pana Wave Laboratory.

The Yamanashi prefectural government closed the narrow roads with two signboards at points three kilometers west and six kilometers north of the cult's buildings.

The prefectural government has been studying possible legal measures that it can take against the cult. It decided to close the roads as it felt it may be too late to take action after the cult members enter the prefecture.

A prefectural government official said the government is legally entitled to close the roads.

Meanwhile, Kaidamura in Nagano Prefecture, near the border with Gifu Prefecture, decided Friday that if the group entered the village it would ask its members to use National Highway Route 361.

Village officials said they would be ready to stop the group at 15 intersections that lead to Route 361. They hope the move will prevent the cult group from staying in the village for any length of time.

A neighboring town of Kisofukushimamachi in Nagano Prefecture also decided to ask the group to travel along the national highway.

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