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Japan Holds Memorial for Victims of Subway Gas Attack

Date Posted: 2000-03-25

During a very solemn public ceremony held on Monday, March 20th, Japan honored the memories of victims of a terrorist gas attack at the same train station where the aggression occurred five years ago. According to news agency and press reports, several uniformed railway staff stood in silence while visitors prayed silently before a white altar set up in memory of the twelve people who died in the 1995 sarin gas attack, while thousands of others were left injured.

Japanese courts have found several leaders of a doomsday cult known as Aum Shinri Kyo guilty in the attack. The murder trial of the cultís former guru, Shoko Asahara, is ongoing in Tokyo District Court.

Japanís Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi expressed his grief for those who suffered during that morning rush hour incident and his sympathies for the families of the victims. He also said that the government would continue working on ways to make sure that dangerous chemicals do not get into the hands of such cults again in the future. The Government of Japan made tough laws late last year to allow seizure of the cultís assets and tighten surveillance of the group. The cult behind the gassing is still believed to have more than 2,000 followers. It recently changed its name to Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, in an apparent move to ward off a further crackdown by authorities.

Earlier on Sunday, the eve of the gas incidentís anniversary, the cult sent out a public apology to the victims, and promised to continue paying compensations.

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