Highlights of the legislation

Japan Times, November 17, 1999

The first of two bills aimed at curbing the activities of Aum Shinrikyo imposes controls on groups whose members have carried out or attempted indiscriminate mass murder. The following conditions apply to the bill:

1) The legislation targets any group whose members have carried out or attempted indiscriminate mass murder in the past 10 years. The group also must have a leader who holds strong influence on the members, the same members as when the crime was committed, or a platform that approves of murder.

2) The Public Security Examination Commission, an extra-ministerial board of the Justice Ministry, can place any such group under surveillance by the Public Security Investigation Agency for up to three years.

3) Every three months during this period, the targeted group must provide the agency's director general with information about its members as well as the nature of its activities.

4) If necessary, agency officials will be allowed to enter the group's facilities to carry out further inspections.

5) If the group is found to have engaged in further acts of murder, assault or other illegal activities, the commission can stop it from obtaining or using any land or facilities for its activities for up to six months.

The second bill aims to facilitate the seizure of assets from a bankrupt group:

1) This bill applies to any bankrupt group or its affiliated companies, groups and individuals placed under surveillance.

2) A court-appointed trustee will be allowed to request that the group return assets it held before it went bankrupt.

3) The trustee will be able to ask the director general of the Public Security Investigation Agency to provide information on the targeted group's assets.

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