A daughter of the late Aum Shinrikyo cult leader Shoko Asahara has asked a court to decide who should take possession of his ashes.
Sources say the fourth daughter of Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, filed the request with the Tokyo Family Court last December. She has said she wanted to be the keeper of his remains in line with her father's wishes.
Matsumoto was executed in July last year along with six former members of the doomsday cult that carried out the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.
The ownership of the ashes is being closely watched as there are fears they could become an object of worship for Matsumoto's loyal followers.
Other members of his family oppose the ashes being handed over to the daughter.
The sources say that due to these differences, his remains are still kept at the Tokyo Detention House, where he was executed.
Shortly after his execution, the daughter's lawyer said she wants to scatter them from a ship on the Pacific Ocean, as she is concerned that burying Matsumoto's remains would create a sacred site for his followers.
The daughter is reportedly seeking permission to inherit other belongings of her late father, because they could also become a focus of worship.