Post vacant until after Aum ruling

Despite a request by citizens’ groups, the Public Security Commission will not fill the position of a member who died last month before it decides whether to invoke the Antisubversive Law against Aum Shinrikyo, the commission chairman announced Jan. 9.Following the Dec. 28 death of commission member Joichi Aoi, vice chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), the commission had been considering if the position should be filled before deciding whether to outlaw the cult under the law.The commission, a seven-member extra-ministerial board of the Justice Ministry, “will continue an earnest and discreet examination without waiting for (Aoi)’s successor to take the post, trying its best to reach an appropriate decision as soon as possible,” Chairman Katsuji Hotta said in a statement.On Jan. 6, a civic group made up of 83 individuals and 36 consumer and religious groups demanded that the vacant post be filled to ensure prudent examination of the application of the controversial law.