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2018 July 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Last six Aum cult members hanged, truth behind deadly Tokyo sarin gas attack remains hidden

July 27, 2018

The Justice Ministry on July 26 announced that six former executives of the Aum Shinrikyo cult group were executed. With these executions, all the 13 key members, including cult founder Matsumoto Chizuo, who had been on death row were put to death. This makes it impossible to find out why Aum Shinrikyo committed the sarin gas attack in Tokyo’s subway system and other serious crimes which left 29 people dead and more than 6,000 injured.

Combined with the 13 Aum members, the number of executions ordered by Justice Minister Kamikawa Yoko totals 16, a record-high number of executions among justice ministers since 1998.

Following the hangings of the 13 Aum members, head of the Aum victims’ association Nagaoka Hiroyuki gave a comment to Akahata. Excerpts of his comment are as follows:

In October 1989, after knowing that my eldest son joined the Aum Shinrikyo cult, I consulted anti-cult lawyer Sakamoto Tsutsumi and we set up the Aum victims’ association. Two weeks after that, Sakamoto together with his wife and one-year-old baby went missing. Regarding this case, the police initially considered that the lawyer became distressed with debts and moved away from home secretly with his family. However, later it came to light that Sakamoto and his family were killed by Aum cult members.

I requested the Tokyo government to not register Aum Shinrikyo as a religious corporation and urged the police to thoroughly investigate the cult group. They, however, ignored my demand. Fortunately, I succeeded in getting my son out of the cult. If he had remained, he would also have received the death sentence.

As the key members have all been executed, it has become impossible to dig up the truth in regard to the series of horrific crimes committed by the Aum Shynrikyo cult. This is a serious problem. I still feel angry with the Tokyo government and the police. I’ll continue to work to create a society which will never allow for the occurrence of such crimes.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t executes leader and 6 members of Aum cult responsible for deadly sarin gas attack in Tokyo [July 7, 2018]
> What are sentiments of persons involved regarding executions of cult's head and 6 executive followers? [July 7, 2018]
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