Day 1: March 22 -- The First Searches and Seizures

After obtaining an arrest warrant for Takeshi Matsumoto on suspicion of kidnapping Kiyoshi Kariya, the head of the Meguro Notary Public Office, 2500 police officers raided 25 Aum facilities throughout Japan. They met with little resistance.

Investigating officers confiscated 1000's of gallons of chemicals and about $4 million in cash and gold. None of this property belonged to Matsumoto nor had any apparent links to the kidnapping. The police steadfastly maintained that they were investigating a kidnapping and not the subway gas attack. However, as Chief Takashi Kakimi put it "We will conduct investigations bearing possible links [to the subway gassing] in mind." Most foreign news wires questioned the legality of the raids, but the domestic press remained silent on the matter. Aum's lawyer formally protested the raids.

Day 2: March 23 -- Police Expand Their Actions

A man police did not identify was arrested for a traffic violation while driving a car registered to Aum Shinri Kyo. The car was impounded and the driver held for questioning. The police announced that they have received 110 criminal complains about the Aum group, and that 10 of them can "established as criminal cases." Some of these complaints date back several years.

Day 3: March 24 -- "Aum Shinri Kyo Should be Dissolved"

Education Minister Kaoru Yosano today said that Aum Shinri Kyo should be forcibly disbanded if it is determined that the sect "departed from usual religious activities." Although the Japanese constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, the Religious Corporation Law gives the government the authority to order a religion disbanded.

Police announced that they have found in Kamikuishiki all the ingredients needed to produce sarin. Newspapers claimed it was enough to kill 4.2 million to 10 million people. All of the chemicals confiscated appear to have been procured legally, and no sarin has yet been found.

Aum filed a Y30 million lawsuit against the police for the damage caused by the raids.

Day 4: March 25 -- The Gulf War Connection?

Police continued to remove chemicals from the Kamikuishiki facility in their ongoing kidnapping investigation. Investigators pointed out that sarin was largely unknown to the public until the 1991 Gulf War, and thus it is highly suspicious that Aum began buying large amounts of land right after the gulf war.

Police intensified their hunt for a man they believe may have planted the sarin gas. Witnesses saw this man place a "suspicious object" on the floor. Another man shouted "that man is a criminal" and began chasing him. Both men succumbed to the gas and passed out. Police feel confident that they will locate this individual as he was undoubtedly hospitalized. (As of April 22nd, the police have not mentioned this person again.)

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