Government to extend controls on former Aum cult

NHK, Japan/Monday, Sept. 4, 2023

A commission for Japan's Justice Ministry has decided to maintain strict controls over a group called Aleph, formerly known as the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult, saying the group has failed to submit required reports on its activities.

Aum members carried out deadly sarin gas attacks on Tokyo's subway system in 1995. Fourteen people died and around 6,000 were injured.

Aleph is under surveillance in accordance with a law aimed at preventing acts of indiscriminate mass murder. The group is required to report its activities every three months.

But it failed to provide reports concerning its land, buildings and activities, among other information. It has been suspected of hiding assets as its asset value has sharply dropped in the past three years.

The strict controls were imposed on the group in March. The group is banned from using 13 of its approximately 20 facilities across Japan and accepting donations.

Aleph has nonetheless failed to present reports and did not attend a hearing last month.

The Public Security Examination Commission reached the decision to extend the controls for six months. It said it is difficult to grasp the degree of danger of indiscriminate mass murder.

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