Because of Aum Shinri Kyô's terrorist attacks using sarin nerve gas, the Japanese government sought to revoke the religious cult's status as a religious corporation under the Religious Corporation Law. The Tokyo District Court found that, in setting up a sarin production facility, Aum had deviated from its purpose as a religious organization and had endangered the public welfare, thereby justifying an order of dissolution. The Tokyo High Court affirmed, but did not reach the issue of whether the dissolution order violated Aum's followers' right to freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Japanese Constitution. In affirming the dissolution order, the Supreme Court held that the followers' right to freedom of religion had not been violated. As a result, Aum's status as a religious corporation was revoked and its assets liquidated.
Thomas L. Madden,
The Dissolution of Aum Shinri Kyô as a Religious Corporation,
6 Pac. Rim L & Pol'y J.
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