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OSAKA — The Osaka High Court on Friday backed a lower court ruling ordering the city of Suita to compensate two Aum Shinrikyo cult members for rejecting their residency registration applications.

Presiding Judge Taneomi Otani said the Suita Municipal Government in Osaka Prefecture should accept residents’ applications as soon as it is confirmed they have moved to the city.

“There is no room for considering whether their presence (in the city) would threaten local residents’ lives or physical safety,” Otani said.

The Osaka District Court has already ruled against the city’s rejection of the residency applications and ordered it to pay the pair 400,000 yen in compensation.

The pair moved into Aum’s Osaka branch, which is in a building in front of JR Suita Station, sometime between June and July of 2000 and submitted residency registration documents to the city government.

But the city refused to accept the documents, citing “public welfare and anxiety among residents.”

Some local governments in Japan have refused to let Aum members register as residents because the religious group, which has renamed itself Aleph, is blamed for executing the March 20, 1995, nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

Aum founder Shoko Asahara and other senior members of the cult have been found guilty of planning and executing the sarin attack, which killed 12 people and sickened thousands of others. Asahara is still on trial for his role in the crimes.

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