Anticult bill to restrict activities of ex-convicts

Daily Yomiuri, October 24, 1999
By Yomiuri Shimbun

The Justice Ministry plans to include a clause that would in effect prohibit activities of former Aum Supreme Truth cult executives, even after they have served prison sentences, in a bill targeting cults, according to ministry officials.

The bill is targeted at organizations that have committed indiscriminate mass murder, such as Aum.

The bill stipulates that the director general of the Public Security Examination Agency would be able to order suspected cults to submit periodic reports on their activities. If the agency deems it necessary, it would be allowed to seek police cooperation in inspecting cult offices, based on the recommendations of the Public Security Examination Committee.

The bill also specifies that police cooperate with the agency to inspect cult offices upon request.

If a cult is found to have the capability of committing indiscriminate mass murder, or if it refuses to be inspected, the bill allows the imposition of restrictions on cult members prohibiting them from opening new facilities or engaging in group activities at existing premises, the ministry said. The ministry's intention in extending restrictions to the activities of former cult members is believed to be directed against imprisoned former executive members of Aum.

The bill is expected to be submitted during the next extraordinary Diet session after a consensus on its content is reached by the government and ruling parties.

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