#What do Influential
People say about Aleph?
no danger at all that Aleph would commit terror attack again : vice-Minister
of Justice Masaaki Yokouchi.
Justice Ministry vice-Minister Masaaki Yokouchi, when
asked about the future threat of Aleph, said that there is no possibility
at all that Aum would engage in terrorism again in the future.
In 1999 we enforced two laws and sterilized Aum
Shinrikyo. There is no danger at all that Aleph would commit terror attack
again. (Yamanashi print of Mainichi, Nov. 2, 2001)
Danger of Aleph has no reality :
Journalist Shoko Egawa
Journalist Shoko Egawa, who has long been reporting on
trial sessions for Aum cases, said that the danger of Aleph, which is
often said to be the source of the fear for neighboring residents, lacks
reality as below. Her words are partly based on the fact that Aleph has
removed dangerous part from its doctrine.
The lecture texts that approve the act of killing
have been removed from their doctrine. The police and officials of the
Public Security Investigation Agency put Aleph followers under their surveillance.
When I came to this apartment building the other day, two police officers
were on duty, saying to each other Here we are. Besides, Shoko
Asahara is no longer in any situation to send orders to his disciples.
I dont think that under the circumstances, they can again produce
sarin or guns secretly and murder many people indiscriminately. In this
sense, the danger posed by Aleph has been reduced drastically to the extent
that is incomparable to what it used to be. Danger that they would attack
us and kill or hurt us has no reality any more. (Egawa Shoko Journal,
Dec. 27, 2001)
Aum is no longer a dangerous criminal group
: Hitotsubashi University Professor Akira Fukuda
Hitotsubashi University Professor Akira Fukuda, an expert
of criminal law and Aum issues, said as follow in one of his thesis entitled
Groundless De-nationalization of Aum Followers.
Mobilizing every possible criminal legal code and
interpreting these laws as liberally as possible, they tried to criminalize
many petty offenses on an unprecedented scale, including offenses, which
could not be a crime. As a result, the crimes said to be caused by AUM
Shinrikyo followers were investigated in the most detailed way; the present
followers who remain in the organization are not concerned with AUM cases,
much less with crime in general. Third, there is no physical and objective
danger that the present AUM Shinrikyo organization would commit massive,
indiscriminate or brutal crimes. The Public Security Investigation Agency
does not even mention it. There is no possibility that the followers could
produce, acquire or conceal poisons like sarin or any other weapon for
that matter. Nor is there even the minutest evidence that they associate
with a domestic or foreign army, or some dangerous terrorist group.
(AUM SHINRIKYO AND HUMAN RIGHTS, SYZYGY: Journal of Alternative Religion
People claim that Aum is dangerous, but
in fact they only feel it eerie : Asahi Shinbun editor Kenichi
Asahi Shinbun editorial stuff Kenichi Kohata, who
keeps attending trial sessions for Aum cases, said about the danger of
Aleph in an interview that people are only expressing their fear in a
very ambiguous way. He also mentioned the problem of the media.
I think people are claiming day in and day out that
Aum is dangerous. But in fact they only feel it eerie. What they think
is: Aum is so weird that we have to do something about it.
And no more than that. They no longer are facing any danger. They only
repeat expressing their fear in an ambiguous way. The typical is the problem
of computer software. The media released the news rather sensationally
that Aum obtained important data. I wonder if Aum wanted to use it in
a cyber terror or something. If so, its OK. But if its not,
how dare can they make it a scoop like that? As a media person, I am very
annoyed about that.
(Aum issues-what is questioned is not Aum but ourselves.:
Sekai, May of 2000 issue)
Anti-Aum mood stirred up
by the media and authorities : Doshisha University Professor Kenichiro
Doshisha University Professor Kenichiro Asano, who has been studying
the media reports on Aum cases, attended the Upper House Judicial Affairs
Committee in November of 1999. In that committee he pointed out that residents
feel uneasy because the Public Security Investigation Agency intentionally
announces and leaks information and then the media spread it out blindly.
Here again I want to come back to the media problem.
A set of two laws targeting Aum Shinrikyo were created on the pretext
that many people feel uneasy that Aum Shinrikyo would repeat brutal crimes
like Sarin Gas attack in 1995 and that because of it, it has many troubles
with local residents across the country. But I really doubt that the theory
of such Aums threat really exists. (At the Upper House Judicial
Affairs Committee, November 30, 1999)
Public anxiety has been removed considerably
: Public Security Examination Commission member Kozo?Fujita
Mr. Kozo Fujita, a Public Security Examination Commission
member, when ruling the application of the Aum specific law to Aleph in
response to the request by the Public Security Investigation Agency, said,
After the application, I think, the public unrest has been considerably
removed, which was followed by his further comment as follow:
The application of the law to Aleph was intended
to remove the rampant public anxiety. Many of the followers joined Aleph
because they find its doctrine comes home to them. If it becomes clear
that they are not producing sarin but simply leading spiritual life as
monks and nuns, the public anxiety will be removed and they can cohabit
with local residents. Otherwise, the Aum problems will not be solved.
I thought the surveillance of Aleph was necessary for that matter. And
thats why I said in the interview that I want every member of the
society to cooperate to accept them.
There is no substance or indication that
leads to the possibility of indiscriminant mass murder, We
understand the state of Aleph in very detail. We think great portion of
public unrest has been removed so far.: The Public Security Investigation
The Public Security Investigation Agency (PSIA) requested
for the application of Aum specific law, which was created in late 1999
to restrict Aum's activities. Since February of 2000, the PSIA put Aleph
under their surveillance and entered its facilities for inspection for
more than thirty times. Findings were provided to local authorities on
request and proved that the threat of Aleph is non-existence. The PSIA
evaluates the investigations as a means to extinguish public unrest.
Early this year the Public Security Examination Commission ruled the application
of the Aum specific law. Then the Public Security Investigation Agency
(PSIA) entered 31 facilities for inspection for 38 times and reported
to 23 local authorities. They found pictures and cassette tapes etc. of
the former Aum Shinrikyo leader Chizuo Matsumoto, but nothing that leads
to the possibility of indiscriminate mass murder. However, the PSIA stressed
that because of the investigations, the public anxiety was removed considerably.
(Asahi, December 17, 2000)
Investigations found no dangerous
substance: The PSIA
The Public Security Investigation Agency (PSIA) entered
computer business facilities of the former Aum Shinrikyo (now Aleph) in
the afternoon of September 18th and announced that they found a one-tatami-mat
room in use for wearing headgears, but nothing that directly leads to
the possibility of indiscriminant mass murder. The PSIA also said that
the investigations at three facilities in Adachi in Tokyo, Asahimura in
Ibaraki, and Yashio in Saitama prefectures ended without trouble.
(Mainich, February 19, 2000)
Nothing found sufficient to ban
Aleph : The PSIA
The Public Security Investigation Agency (PSIA) carried
out an on-the-spot investigation at former Aum Shinrikyo (now Aleph) headquarters
located in Yokohama, Kanagawa prefecture on September 14. Findings from
the investigation were reported to Yokohama municipal government on September
16. In the investigation into the three-story building, with the attendance
of four followers as witnesses, the PSIA officials found working space,
followers private rooms, a training room with the altar covered
with purple cloth which is located in the front. The PSIA said that there
was no substance leading to preparation or a plot of indiscriminant mass
murder and no evidence sufficient to ban Alephs activities. (Tokyo
Shinbun, November 17, 2000)