Japan police tighten security after execution of AUM cult founder
Japan police tighten security after execution of AUM cult founder
08 July, 2018, 23:27
Born Chizuo Matsumoto in 1955 on the southwestern island of Kyushu, Asahara changed his name in the 1980s, when the Aum cult was being developed.
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FILE - In this March 20, 1995, file photo, subway passengers affected by sarin nerve gas in the central Tokyo subway trains are carried into St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo.
The hangings are the first executions in connection with the nerve agent attack, which killed 13 people and injured thousands more.
The reports say Asahara and some of his followers were hanged Friday.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga confirmed that Asahara, leader of Aum Shinrikyo, was killed along with six other cult members. "The death penalty can never deliver this as it is the ultimate denial of human rights", Hiroka Shoji, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement.
Seki was a minor when he killed four people - a 42-year-old corporate executive, the man's wife, 36, their 4-year-old daughter and the executive's 83-year-old mom.
In all, 13 cult members were sentenced to death during more than 20 years of trials, which came to an end in January 2018.
The horrifying scenes in the aftermath of the attack shocked a country where the crime rate is relatively low and people tend to take their personal safety for granted.
Though concerns about the Aum had already been raised, the attack prompted a massive crackdown on the cult's headquarters in the foothills of Mount Fuji, where authorities discovered a plant capable of producing enough sarin to kill millions. Thirteen people died in the attack, while more than 6,000 were sickened with symptoms that included being blinded or paralyzed.
Shizue Takahashi, whose husband was a subway deputy station master who died in the attack, also expressed regret that six of Asahara's followers had been killed.
The following are brief descriptions of three major criminal cases involving the AUM Shinrikyo doomsday cult.
"With the execution, I feel that the opportunity to discover (why) has been lost", Moriyama said.
Japanese police tightened security Friday after the executions of the founder and six former senior members of the AUM Shinrikyo cult earlier in the day fanned fears about potential retaliation by followers.
Some family members of the cult's victims are more interested in those answers than they are in retribution.
The Public Security Intelligence Agency's analysis is that all three groups are still under the influence of Matsumoto and continue to have risky characteristics.
Asahara told his followers he is the incarnation of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and regeneration, and urged them to entrust themselves and their assets to Shiva and himself for life, according to prosecutors who indicted him.
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