Officers from a Justice Ministry agency will inspect five premises belonging to the Aum Shinrikyo cult today under the new anti-Aum law, agency officials said Thursday. The Public Security Investigation Agency announced its plan to an independent panel, the Public Security Examination Commission, which gave the agency permission Monday to put Aum under surveillance under a law enacted in December to crack down on the cult. The agency will inspect the cult’s facilities in Otawara, Tochigi Prefecture, where some children of Aum founder Shoko Asahara live. Other facilities to be inspected are those in the towns of Sanwa, Ibaraki Prefecture; Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture; Minokamo, Gifu Prefecture; and Kosei, Shiga Prefecture. Two facilities — one in Yokohama, where de facto leader Fumihiro Joyu is staying, and the other in the Ibaraki village of Asahi, where Asahara’s eldest son was abducted — have yet to be examined by the agency because of an ongoing search by police. The commission allowed the agency to put Aum under surveillance in collaboration with police for up to three years.
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