Japan, Russia agree to increase data exchanges on AUM

Japan, Russia agree to increase data exchanges on AUM

TOKYO, Sept. 28 Kyodo

Japan and Russia have agreed to step up exchanges of information about the AUM Shinrikyo cult in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, government sources said Friday.

The sources said Japanese Ambassador to Russia Minoru Tamba has met with a senior Russian official several times since the terror attacks and that Russian Ambassador to Tokyo Alexander Panov conferred with Shotaro Yachi, deputy vice minister for foreign policy, on Wednesday and agreed to promote exchanges of data about terrorists, including AUM.

In July, Russian authorities took into custody a Russian male follower of the AUM Shinrikyo on suspicion he tried to help AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara escape from the Tokyo Detention House by inciting a series of terrorist attacks.

Asahara has been indicted on various criminal charges, including ones related to the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 12 people and injured thousands.

Russian authorities say they suspect AUM followers in Russia are engaging in unlawful activities.

Japan and Russia have cooperated in keeping tabs on international criminal syndicates through meetings of their foreign ministries, police and coast guards, the Japanese sources said.

The sources said the two countries have also compared notes on terrorism-affected regions, ways to prevent the entry of terrorists in their respective countries and fight international terrorist organizations.

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