Aum property moved to Gunma Pref.

Yomiuri Shimbun, September 21, 1999

Two trucks carrying the belongings of Aum Supreme Truth cult members who were evicted from a building in Adachi Ward, Tokyo, entered the cult's facility in Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday night, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The removal of members' belongings to Fujioka from the Adachi Ward building, which had housed the cult's public relations, judicial affairs and other sections, raised concerns among local residents, with some worried that the cult may be establishing headquarters in Fujioka.

The cult members reached an agreement with Saburo Abe, a court-appointed lawyer and bankruptcy trustee for the owners of the Adachi Ward building, to leave the three-story building by late this month after the building's owners were declared bankrupt in July.

A spokesman for the cult said it had yet to be decided where more than 20 members who resided in the building would live.

But problems are anticipated concerning local government acceptance of the members since many Tokyo wards, such as Koto, Toshima, Arakawa, Nerima and Adachi, have turned down residency applications submitted by cult members.

Former residents of the Tokyo building included Tatsuko Muraoka, 49, the cult's acting representative, and Hiroshi Araki, 31, deputy head of public relations.

The Tokyo District Court declared the building owners bankrupt on July 8. Abe demanded the cult members vacate the building.

According to Araki, the evictions began at the beginning of this month, and about seven cult members have already left the building for locations across the country.

Some pieces of furniture and electrical appliances were moved to other cult facilities in the Kanto region. A cult spokesman had no comments regarding where the members and the public relations headquarters would move, and whether the members would be able to register as residents of other areas.

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