Japan executes Shoko Asahara, founder of Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult

Leroy Wright
July 8, 2018

Aum Shinrikyo's weapon of choice was sarin, an odourless, colorless toxic nerve gas that can paralyse or kill someone within one minute after inhalation. Seven of the top cult leaders, including Shoko Asahara, were hanged; another six await execution.The Asahi ShimbunHAZ-MATThe attack was one of the most shocking in modern Japanese history.

Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, had spent the last 14 years on death row after he was sentenced to be executed in 2004.

What was the Tokyo attack? His followers would conduct unusual religious rituals which included drinking Asahara's bathwater and wearing electrical caps they believed synchronized their brain waves with his. Asahara hand-picked some as close aides.

During his trial, Asahara often used diapers and sat on a cushion meant to make his incontinence inconspicuous.

Avoid becoming a victim of Fake News. In March 2006, the Tokyo High Court rejected his appeal without holding a public hearing because defense lawyers did not submit appeal documents by the deadline. She added she would visit her daughter's grave to let her know.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency continued to monitor the groups, believing they were still under the influence of Asahara. Asahara was executed at a Tokyo detention center, while the others were hanged at the same detention center as well as those in Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. They included three scientists who led the production of the sarin gas and a man who drove a getaway vehicle.

Six more cult members are still on death row, according to the Associated Press. Police were criticized for not reacting sooner to the cult, which had already been linked to a smaller gas attack in 1994.

"We should have them talk until they die a natural death so that they help prevent a recurrence", he said. During their freaky election campaign, Asahara and his top disciples sang and danced to the guru's songs.

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The cult garnered worldwide disrepute after its horrendous attack that killed 12 people on the scene at the Tokyo subway and injured 5,500 others.

Nakagawa and key members produced sarin at a cult compound and sprayed it from a van, in what was later regarded as an experiment for the subsequent subway gassing.

On March 20, 1995, members of the cult left punctured bags filled with liquid nerve agent on train lines going through Tokyo's political district.

Asahara and five of the six executed were implicated in the subway attack.

His execution was the first of 13 former Aum members who have been condemned to death. The incident left Japan stunned, its population used to a low crime rate and unaccustomed to terrorism.

In this 2015 photo, Tokyo subway workers offered silent prayer 20 years after the poison gas attack.

After his arrest and the start of his trial in April 1996, Asahara began exhibiting baffling behavior in the courtroom and detention facilities, often remaining silent or just mumbling.

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