Cultists reportedly in Yamanashi Pref.

Yomiuri Shimbun/May 5, 2003

White-clad members of the Pana Wave Laboratory cult have moved into Oizumimura, Yamanashi Prefecture, thought to be a possible final destination for the group, local residents said Saturday. Other members of the doomsday cult have lined municipal roads in Gifu Prefecture with cars and trucks since late last month.

The local residents said about 20 members of the group, most of whom are believed to be in their 40s and 50s, have moved into Oizumimura.

They have rented four houses and eight apartments near the dome-shaped buildings owned by an organization affiliated with the cult.

According to Pana Wave, the buildings, which are under construction, are being built in preparation for a natural disaster. A person close to the group reportedly has paid part of the cult's utility bills.

The residents said the cultists started moving into the town in around December, going in and out of the dome-shaped buildings and keeping to themselves.

The residents added that there had been a number of different people living in the rented accommodations, with their car license plates indicating that some of them were from Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture; Oita; Omiya, Saitama Prefecture; and Shizuoka.

A white-clad woman believed to be in her 50s reportedly lived in the village until late last month. The residents said they thought she was just wearing an apron, but now speculate she may have been part of the cult.

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