#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.
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
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
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.
(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
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