Two laws aimed at cracking down on the activities of Aum Shinrikyo were promulgated Tuesday by the Justice Ministry. The laws — one to allow authorities to step up monitoring of the cult’s activities and the other to facilitate disposal of Aum’s assets — were enacted by the Diet on Friday. The laws will take effect Dec. 27, and the Public Security Investigation Agency, after consulting with the National Police Agency, is expected to ask the Public Security Examination Commission on the same day to consider putting Aum under surveillance, Justice Minister Hideo Usui told a regular news conference Tuesday. The commission will decide whether to allow the surveillance within 30 days once discussion of the request commences. A decision will be made by early February at the latest, he said. One of the two laws targets any organization that has committed or attempted “indiscriminate mass murder during the past 10 years.” Although the law does not name Aum as its intended target, government officials have explained that it will be aimed exclusively at the cult.

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