Day 36: April 26 - Aum Disbandment Hits Snag

Education Minister Yosano will have to rely on the police department to provide the information required to order Aum disbanded, and that is proving difficult. As the Yomiuri explained "Justice and police authorities have not encountered a case in which they were asked to supply investigation materials to outside agencies, and it's doubtful that they would want to." If Aum is disbanded all of it's assets are forfeit to the government.

In their daily raids of Aum facilities across Japan, police arrested seven more Aum members. To date, police have arrested 10 of Aum's leaders and over 200 regular followers. No one has been arrested in connection with last month's sarin attack.

Day 37: April 27 - APB on All Aum leaders

In a completely unprecedented move, the NPA has directed every police station in the county to apprehend Aum leader Asahara Shyoko and 21 other sect leaders. No specific charges have been mentioned. Police said they will increase the frequency of random car checks and the questioning of "suspicious persons" in their effort to make progress in the case.

Three Aum members will be formally indicted on charges of trespassing for the incident that occurred on April 6th. Formal indictments on this charge are extremely rare, in fact this seems to be the first time. Investigators explained that they are in a very difficult position. Although they found rifle parts in the confiscated car, there is no law banning the possession of rifle parts, hence the formal indictment on the trespassing charge.

Day 38: April 28 - Two SDF Members Arrested

A sergeant in the Ground Self Defense Forces who is also a member of Aum was arrested today after he admitted to throwing a gasoline bomb into the sect's headquarters at the request of Aum's intelligence minister. Another sergeant and Aum follower was suspended and then immediately resigned for leaking information about SDF's preparations for the March 22 raid on the Aum compund.

Prime Minister Murayama today said that the investigation of the March 22 subway gassing is nearing its final stage. He did not elaborate, but this seems to contradict the position of the police and Home Affairs Minister Hiromu Nonaka, who today stated that as yet there is insufficient evidence to conclusively say that sarin was produced at Aum's Kamikuishiki facility.

Day 39: April 29 - Two Ex-SDF Aum Members Arrested

Police said that several high-ranking Aum members had received weapons training in Russia. Most of these people are already in police custody, but today police arrested a former SDF member who participated on these training sessions on charges of installing a radio transmitter in an Aum-owned car without a license to do so.

In a separate incident authorities arrested a Shinya Asano, the SDF member who provided Aum with information on SDF preparations, for trespassing after he scaled a fence at a driver's license examination office. The Yomiuri stated that police "suspect Aum members plotted to forge drivers licenses and use them to rent cars with the aim of abducting people."

Day 40: April 30 - NHK Employee's Home Searched

The police today searched the home of an NHK employee who has been friends with a high-ranking Aum member since high school. The employee denied being Aum follower, but police said they believed he was holding books and documents for his friend who is a member of Aum. They added that this employee had been seen at Aum-related facilities. An NHK spokesman said that the employee did not know if police had a warrant to search his home. [ That's how the report appeared in the papers. Japanese police, however, are required to show a warrant before entering the property. -- TR]

Authorities announced that the name of the man suspected of killing Murai is Hiroyuki Jo. No explanation for the confusion was given.

Police continued their nationwide raids, seizures and arrests. In one of the stranger incidents, police arrested the president of computer store for violating the Antique Dealings Law. [ I really wish I had the details for this one! I'll post them if I can find them --TR ]

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