#Mr. Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State
The United States of America

December 27, 2001

Dear Mr. Powell:

I, on behalf of all the members of the religious organization Aleph, would like to make a plead here to you to reconsider our status as being one of your “Foreign Terrorist Organizations”.

In your “2001 Report on Foreign Terrorist Organizations” you have listed 28 organizations which included Aum Shinrikyo. I must say that Aum Shinrikyo itself does not exist any more. It was dissolved and after going through self-imposed drastic reformation, the new organization Aleph was established in February of 2000. Although Aleph inherited a lot from Aum Shinrikyo, the reality of Aleph is a far cry from that of any terrorist organization. I would like you to know the actual state of Aleph and to reconsider if Aleph should in truth be listed as one of your foreign terrorist organizations.

First of all, as clearly stated in our platform (reference #1), we disapprove of any unlawful or violent activities including the 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack. We admit that the series of grave crimes committed by some Aum Shinrikyo members were wrong and have sworn that none of us will never engage in any crimes whatsoever in the future.

Having seriously reflected upon the past incidents, we made apologies to the public and the bereaved family members of the incidents and started to make compensatory payments to the funds of the bankruptcy administrators for Aum Shinrikyo (ref.#s 2-6).

The funds donated by Aleph since 1999 have now exceeded 300 million yen. Considering four billion yen, the total amount that we have agreed to compensate, we are still far off the goal. Therefore we are making our utmost effort to complete it.

On top of this, we encourage our members to contribute to charities (ref. #7). On December 18th of 2001, we were able to transfer the sum of half a million yen as a donation through Japan Red Cross to the victims of the September 11th of 2001 terror attacks in the U.S.A. Many of us feel very sorry for the terror attacks and prayed for the victims.

The point to be emphasized is that most of us had nothing to do with the crimes committed. Those who were involved in the grave crimes are in the custody of the police, although three members are still wanted by the police. We have been making constant appeals to them to give themselves up to the police, and encourage our members to give any information that may lead to their apprehension (ref. #8).

Since 1995, there has been no record of us committing any grave crimes whatsoever in Japan. The police raided facilities of Aum Shinrikyo and later of Aleph at about 470 places between June of 1996 and December of 2001. All the raids were carried out on suspicion of petty crimes and had nothing to do with the suspicion of terror attacks. The Public Security Investigation Agency entered Aleph's facilities for inspection for 26 times and at 63 places between February of 2000 and December of 2001. In their report they have clearly stated that they found nothing dangerous or that may link to a plot or preparation of a future terror attack.

In July of 2000, former Aum Shinrikyo Russian followers were apprehended on suspicion of illegally possessing arms. As we have already made clear on our website and to the press in Japan, the crime was committed by them alone and had nothing to do with us or with the other Russian members of former Aum Shinrikyo. To the contrary we have been providing necessary information to the Public Security authorities of Japan and to those of Russia and cooperated with them in arresting the suspects.

Moreover, this year we have re-established relationship with former Aum Shinrikyo Russian followers to prevent the happening of similar incidents and have dispatched members to Russia to guide and instruct former Russian followers (ref. #12).

In Japan not a few people in socially influential positions in varied fields have made comments in the media on the present state of Aleph. These comments indicate that Aleph poses no specific threats to the society at present. I believe this is a valid indication of Aleph not being a terrorist organization (ref. #13).

I hope this letter has already made clear the fact that Aleph should in no position be listed as a foreign terrorist organization, and I believe your further looking into the attached documents will convince you of it.

I thank you very much for taking time to read this letter.

Yours sincerely,

(Ms.) Tatsuko Muraoka
Religious organization Aleph

List of references

reference #1: Platform of Religious Organization Aleph
reference #2: Apologies and compensation to the victims and bereaved families of Aum incidents
reference #3: View on the Aum-related Incidents
reference #4: Outlook on the Aum-related Incidents and Outline of Drastic Reform
reference #5: On March 20th [Apology to victims in the 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack]
reference #6: To the victims and bereaved families of the 1994 sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
reference #7: Appeal to Aleph followers to Contribute to Charities
reference #8: Appeal to former followers wanted by police
reference #9: The Dmitri Sigachev's Case: unlawful possession of weapons by former Russian member of Aum Shinrikyo
reference #10: Comment, Dec. 16 of 2001
reference #11: Information from Mr. I, former high-ranking member of Aum Shinrikyo
reference #12: Comment, Nov. 27 of 2001
reference #13: What do Influential People say about Aleph?

These references can be also seen on our website: http://english.aleph.to/pr/index.html