Public security inspectors raided AUM Shinrikyo cult facilities across the country on Saturday, the day after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by cult founder Shoko Asahara against a death sentenced for masterminding various crimes.
The Public Security Intelligence Agency inspected the cult's 26 facilities in 17 prefectures to determine whether followers loyal to Asahara will carry out any reprisals in reaction to the court ruling, sources close to the agency said.
The agency has placed the cult under probation under the Control of Organizations Act.
This is the third and largest raid that the agency has conducted on the cult under the law, following one in February 2004 prior to the Tokyo District Court ruling on Asahara, and one shortly after the Tokyo High Court discontinued Asahara's hearings in April this year.
At about 9 a.m., about 20 inspectors from the agency entered the cult's Minami-Karasuyama facility in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, which functions as the cult's headquarters. About 100 followers including current cult leader Fumihiro Joyu, 43, live at the facility.