2 Buddhist group members arrested over confinement of student

Yokohama, Japan - Two members of a Buddhist group were arrested Thursday on suspicion of confining a university student in Yokohama in May to force him to join the group, police said.

They were Hideki Ishikawa, 20, himself a university student, and Yuichi Gyotoku, 28, a temporary staff worker, who are members of the Fujitaisekiji Kenshokai, an officially registered religious organization based in Saitama.

The two have admitted to the allegations, according to the police.

The police have also searched a group building in Yokohama.

The two, both also from Yokohama, allegedly invited May 5 a 20-year-old university student to their acquaintance's home in Yokohama and asked him to join the group.

After the student refused to join the group and tried to leave, they dragged him back and confined him, the police said. The student was later released after he gave his address.

The two and the student came to know each other after they met at a video arcade in Tokyo in March, the police said.

The Nichiren sect Buddhist group has offices and halls nationwide. On its website, it says that Japan will perish in the near future.

In 2001, members of the same group were arrested on suspicion of assaulting a man who refused to enter the group in Chiba.