Japan: Shoko Asahara Executed , Remembering 1995 Sarin Attack

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The hanging of Asahara, 63, closes a chapter on one of Japan’s most shocking crimes in the 20th century. During the morning rush hour of March 20, 1995, members of his Aum Shinrikyo cult punctured plastic bags to release sarin nerve gas inside subway cars, killing 13 people and sickening more than 6,000.

Japan’s Justice Ministry has confirmed reports that six followers of a doomsday cult have been executed along with its leader.

The ministry said that Shoko Asahara and six members of his Aum Shinrikyo cult were hanged Friday. They had been convicted of a series of crimes including a 1995 sarin gas attack that killed 13 people and sickened more than 6,000 others on the Tokyo subway system.

Two relatives of victims of a Japanese doomsday cult say they approve of the execution of its leader.

Shoko Asahara was hanged Friday morning for masterminding a series of deadly crimes including a 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

Kiyoe Iwata told Japanese broadcaster NHK by phone Friday that his death gives her piece of mind. Her daughter was killed in the 1995 subway attack.

Iwata said she has always wondered why it had to be her daughter. She added she would visit her daughter’s grave to let her know.

The sarin gas attack killed 13 people and sickened more than 6,000.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Suga said authorities are taking precautionary measures in case of any retaliation by his followers.

There were around 11,300 followers and some of them were youngsters and top college graduates from various prestigious institutions.

The followers or the Aum members were also found guilty of the  1989 murder of a lawyer who represented victims of the cult, along with his wife and 1-year-old son. Followers of the cult mailed a bomb to the office of Tokyo’s governor in 1995 and were investigated for a near-fatal shooting of Japan’s top police official.

This was a really heinous act which took a long time to get justice to the victims.

 

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