Suspension request for former Aum cult withdrawn

Japan's public security authorities have withdrawn a request for stricter controls over the group Aleph, formerly known as the Aum Shinrikyo cult. The withdrawal came after the group submitted obligatory reports, although behind schedule.

Aum members carried out deadly sarin gas attacks on Tokyo's subway system in 1995. 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.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency on Friday withdrew its request filed with an external commission of the Justice Ministry.

The request, submitted last month, had asked for tighter restrictions on Aleph after the group failed to submit obligatory reports or respond to the agency's instructions.

Under the restrictions, Aleph was to be banned from using its facilities, soliciting new members and receiving donations for six months.

Aleph eventually submitted its quarterly activity reports for periods from February through last month.

The reports, however, lacked some necessary entries about the group's financial standings and membership descriptions.

As a result, more than 10 agency officials raided the group's facility in Tokyo's Adachi Ward on Friday morning. The venue is among Aleph's largest facilities in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The group at first resisted opening the facility to the officials, but finally allowed them in.

The agency is also considering giving further instructions to the group. If the group does not follow them, the agency may consider requesting fresh restrictions.