JAPAN EXECUTES SIX MORE MEMBERS OF DOOMSDAY CULT
July 25, 2018:
Japan executed the remaining six death-row inmates involved in a doomsday cult that spread nerve gas on the Tokyo subway in 1995, ending the main legal process for an episode that traumatized the nation for years. (Sources: wsj.com, 25/07/2018)
The executions early July 25 followed the hanging of the leader of the Aum Shinrikyo cult and six of his followers on July 5. Japan executes some death-row prisoners most years but the total of 13 executions so far this year is the highest in a decade.
All of those executed were senior members of the cult convicted of involvement in the murder of 29 people in a series of attacks in the 1990s. The cult’s release of sarin gas on the Tokyo subway killed 13 people and injured more than 6,000. Many were permanently crippled.
“The suffering and sorrow of the victims and those bereaved, as well as those who escaped death but have serious handicaps defies imagination,” Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said in announcing the executions.
The execution of cult leader Chizuo Matsumoto, also known as Shoko Asahara, became complicated when members of his family declined to immediately receive his cremated remains. One of his daughters has said his ashes should be cast out to sea to avoid a gravesite becoming a place of pilgrimage.
Among those executed on July 25 were Matsumoto’s personal bodyguard and Aum’s chief science and technology officer, who was responsible for producing stocks of sarin and other chemicals capable of killing millions of people.