This is the first time I have heard anybody describe Shinto as "buddhist sect", and I am pretty sure you would surprise the heck out of both buddhist and shinto priests with that claim.
Here in Japan, they are certainly not viewed as the same. Buddhists have their temples, and Shintoism has its shrines, and the Japanese population happily goes to both them them, but not for a moment thinks it is the same thing. Afaik, Shintoism preceeds Buddhism by a long time (it is native to Japan, while Buddhism was brought here).
Edited by Zaphod222, 24 January 2013 - 09:30 AM.