Written by Reuters
06 Jul, 2018 | 4:11 pm
REUTERS – Japan on Friday (July 6) executed the former leader of a doomsday cult and six other members of the group that carried out a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 13 people and shattering the country’s myth of public safety.
The Aum Shinrikyo, or Aum Supreme Truth cult, which mixed Buddhist and Hindu meditation with apocalyptic teachings, staged a series of crimes including simultaneous sarin gas attacks on subway trains during rush hour in March 1995. As well as killing the 13, the attack injured at least 5,800 people, some permanently.
Some Tokyo residents said they felt there would now be closure for the victims and the bereaved, but that it was regrettable an apology was never issued. One relative of the sarin attack said she wished the execution had happened sooner so those who did not survive the 25 years since the incident could hear the news.
At its peak, Aum had at least 10,000 members in Japan and overseas, including graduates of some of Japan’s top universities. A resident living near a building run by the religious group Aleph, which is made up of former Aum members, said he felt the group had been more active recently and was worried about their next move.
Executions are rare in Japan but surveys show a vast majority of people supports the death sentence.
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