Aum Supreme Truth cult followers who support Fumihiro Joyu, a 43-year-old leader of the group, have begun living separately in a possible move to establish a new religious sect, according to sources.
Public security authorities are keeping a close watch on the developments, which suggest a split in the organization.
According to the sources, about 100 cult members--including Joyu followers--lived in three adjacent apartment buildings in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, all of which were used as the cult's headquarters. One of the buildings has now been vacated.
Since July, the Joyu group has occupied one of the buildings, while Aum's other members--including an anti-Joyu group--took over the remaining building, the sources said.