In Japan, Signs Suggest Mass Execution Might Occur

Japan sentenced 13 Aum Shinrikyo members to die for sarin, other attacks
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2018 8:44 AM CDT
In this undated file photo, cult guru Shoko Asahara, left, of Aum Shinrikyo walks with Yoshihiro Inoue, then a close aid, in Tokyo.   (Kyodo News via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Japan may be readying itself for a mass hanging. The Guardian reports that signs suggest the long-awaited executions of the doomsday cult members behind the infamous 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway may soon come to pass. The two big indications: It reports the country typically holds off on executing multiple people for one crime until all the cases are completed, which in this instance happened in January. Second, seven of the 13 members of Aum Shinrikyo who have been sentenced to death were last week moved to detention facilities outside of Tokyo, which spurred the local media buzz.

  • The attack: The news comes on the 23rd anniversary of the March 20, 1995, attack, which killed 13 and sickened 6,300; 10 of the condemned were sentenced for this attack, the rest for other crimes. Japan Today reports the attack, for which other Aum members are serving prison sentences, involved bags containing liquid sarin being deposited on five trains and then punctured with pointed umbrella tips.

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