Execution of 7 Aum Shinrikyo members in the Tokyo Sarin attack is bringing Heisei Era to a close
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The reverberations in Japan of an internal religious cult that utilized terrorism and fear remains in the memory today, just like the brutal events of the Tokyo Sarin attack in 1995. Hence, with the Heisei Era nearing its end, then the execution of the remaining death row members of Aum Shinrikyo seems set to follow the recent execution of seven members. Thereby, the New Era, to be named next year, will not be blighted by the most terrifying terrorist attack that hit Japan during the Heisei Era.
It goes without saying that the other six members of Aum Shinrikyo will equally face the same fate in the near future. Therefore, with all legal appeals of other death row inmates being exhausted, then now is a time to close the book on this terrible event while never forgetting.
According to Japan News (The Yomiuri Shimbun), “These cases, which symbolize crime in the Heisei era, must be resolved before the era comes to a close.” A senior official inside the Justice Ministry sites the above comment.
The BBC stipulates, “Seven members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult which carried out a deadly chemical attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995 have been executed, including cult leader Shoko Asahara.”
It is extremely complex to label the religious fundamentals of Aum Shinrikyo. This is based on Shoko Asahara fusing and altering aspects of Buddhism, Christianity and the Book of Revelations – and other ideas – to kindle a cult that supported the death of innocents.
In the final moments of the life of Shoko Asahara and the other six members who were executed, it is not known if they felt remorse – if they feared their own demise – or if they still claimed to be innocent? After all, the upper echelons of Aum Shinrikyo being held on death row had denied being directly involved in the terrorist attack. However, ultimately, the death penalty was given to Shoko Asahara and others high in the chain of this organization.
It is believed that the remaining members on death row will face a similar fate in the near future. Despite this, over 2,000 members of another offshoot cult still follow the teachings of Shoko Asahara. Therefore, the spirit of evil will still guide individuals even if this newer organization rejects violence and other negative aspects of Aum Shinrikyo.
Of course, while the majority of media coverage will be focused on the leader of this cult being executed. It goes without saying that the internal security services of Japan and the national police must look in the mirror. This relates to how Aum Shinrikyo was able to obtain Sarin and commit several brutal attacks – while financing projects – under the noses of authorities.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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