Japan executed cult leader Shoko Asahara, who was convicted of several murders including the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, on Friday, Japan Today reported. The Justice Ministry said the 63-year-old Aum Shinrikyo cult founder was executed with six former senior members of the radical group.
The 1995 sarin gas attack on several subway trains had killed 13 and injured more than 6,000 people. The morning of March 20, 1995, members of the group used sharp umbrellas to puncture bags containing sarin in five crowded train carriages during rush hour in Tokyo.
Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa had sentenced 13 people for their role in the attack. The cult’s founder was charged with planning the subway attack and other crimes that led to the deaths of 29 people. Shoko Asahara’s real name was Chizuo Matsumoto.
Seven other cult members have been transferred to other facilities across the country and reports speculated that their death sentences may be carried out in the next few days. The court had ordered the death penalty for 13 people linked to the cult.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the authorities were monitoring the activities of the cult’s successor organisation, Aleph, after the executions.
The Aum Shinri Kyo, or Aum Supreme Truth cult, which believed in a combination of Buddhist and Hindu meditation with apocalyptic teachings, committed a series of crimes in Tokyo.