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Japan — The leader of the group that carried out a deadly gas attack in Japan in 1995 was executed on July 6. According to The Japan Times, “The death penalty for the guru was first handed down by the Tokyo District Court in February 2004 and finalized by the Supreme Court in September 2006.”

Shoko Asahara and his followers planned a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system on March 20, 1995. Five of Asahara’s Aum Shinrikyo cult boarded various trains and released the gas, which killed 13 people and made more than 6,000 others ill.

According to Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, six additional cult members were executed by hanging as well: Tomomasa Nakagawa, 55, Kiyohide Hayakawa, 68, Yoshihiro Inoue, 48, Masami Tsuchiya, 53, Seiichi Endo, 58, and Tomomitsu Niimi, 54.

Asahara’s execution was for more than the single gas attack. According to Japan Times, “The crimes he was convicted of also include the murders of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, his wife, and their 1-year-old son in November 1989, as well as another sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in June 1994. That attack killed eight and left about 600 injured.”

Lamar Green


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