I will be out of Japan from May 10th to May 22, so this page will not be updated during that time. I will begin updating and working backwards to fill in the events once I return. There is, however, a small chance that I will pull this page down. The Japanese government is talking about invoking the 1957 Anti-Subversives Act. This would make disseminating information about Aum's activities or spreading Aum-propaganda illegal.
Anyone who reads this page even causally knows that I am not supportive of Aum Shinri Kyo. However, I doubt the Japanese police would understand the difference between supporting Aum and opposing the police actions against them. Japanese society seems to see only two sides to this issue. In fact, I have had several people e-mail me to tell me that they are "reporting me to the police." While I don't expect the Gestapo to be showing up anytime soon, the Anti-Subversives Act is a very scary piece of legislation. If it comes up, this page goes down. I may try to work something out through e-mail to interested parties or use mirrors in other countries.
Aum Shinri Kyo is finished. Whatever the result of the sarin investigation, Aum will cease to exist within a few months. It's rather astounding to watch how every part of Japanese society is anxiously doing their part to eradicate this group.
- The Japanese Government
- The national government has said that if any of Aum's members are found guilty of "anti-social" crimes they will order Aum disbanded and confiscate of all Aum property. They are also toying with the idea of invoking the Anti-Subversives Act mentioned above.
- The National Police Agency
- The National Police Agency has been the most active of course. They have arrested over 200 Aum members, and raided over 150 locations. The vast majority of these arrests are highly questionable. Look over the daily events for more information. The police have frozen the group's bank accounts, and have now arrested the sect's lawyer. However, perhaps the most psychologically crushing and blatantly illegal move was taking half of the Aum children from the Kamikuishiki compound into "protective custody" without obtaining a court order. Although this happened almost a month ago, police have still given no legal justification for the action.
- Local Governments
- The Yamanashi government has started going over the paperwork for all of Aum's buildings. The one's that do not have all their papers in order are being closed down. To enter the Aum chapel, for example, is now punishable by a year in jail and a Y300,000 fine. Local authorities say they plan to close many more Aum buildings in this manner and use violations of fire-safety laws to close down others.
- The Citizenry
- Landlords all over Japan are filing suits to evict Aum tenants from their buildings. The reason most often cited is that other tenants will not lease an office with an Aum office in the building. Local merchants refuse to sell Aum members food or other supplies.
Japan desperately wants to believe that once Aum Shinri Kyo is out of the picture, everything will go back to the way it was, and it will once again be safe to ride the subways. It won't. A psychological wall came down on March 20th, and in the long run, that will prove to be the most significant aspect of the event.
Reportedly, violently ill mental patients could once be confined to a room walled by shoji (sliding doors made of paper and thin wood). The slightest pressure would have caused the walls to come crashing down, but people would no sooner attempt to run through shoji than to run through stone. Shoji remained a barrier only as long as society insisted that it was.
Over the last month, Japan has been forced to realize that shoji are not as solid as they seem. Many people don't see this yet and seem to believe that once Aum is eliminated, their shoji walls will be strong again. This is, of course, absurd. Authorities could put every Aum member up against a wall and have them shot, and the subways would not suddenly become safe. There have been four gas attacks after the March 20th incident, and it is highly doubtful that Aum is responsible for these. The iron-clad safety of Japan's subways was just thin wood and paper after all.
This site exists to document the actions of the Japanese police against the Aum Shinri Kyo. I neither have nor desire affiliation with either organization, and find the practices of both highly questionable. However, every day the world is shown what Aum has been doing, and no one seems to be keeping tabs on the police.
Due process is being completely ignored by both the Japanese police and press, and the Japanese people are clamoring that the police should be given more power. In the 1920's the Japanese people blindly followed the military and abandoned their new and limited democracy. The people cheered as the Army led Japan into fascism. The Army always claimed that it needed these powers to protect the populace, and their will was rarely questioned. The similarities are too close for me to ignore. People need to see what is going on here and need to have the nerve to stand up to it.
I update this list at least daily. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by my home page. I would very much like to have this information presented in Japanese, but my language ability isn't up to it. If anyone is interested in helping out with this project, please let me know.
N E W S
The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and has been gathered primarily from reports printed in either the Daily Yomiuri or the Mainichi. Some of the information comes from the AP news wire. None of it comes from Japanese television reports, which I consider to be only a small step above hearsay. I will try to cite other sources when I use them.
All the information presented here is correct to the best of my knowledge. However, I have had to correct a few errors. I feel I should document any changes I make to this information once I post it. It seems somehow dishonest to do otherwise. If you are interested, please see the errata page.