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A former Aum Shinrikyo member allegedly involved in making a device used in the deadly June 1994 nerve gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, said the cult’s closed society impaired his ability to think about his actions.

Testifying for the prosecution at the Tokyo District Court in the trial of Aum founder Shoko Asahara, Kozo Fujinaga, 37, said he had no way of taking an objective view toward what he was doing at that time because there was little opportunity for him to communicate with the outside world.

“If I had had more opportunity to get feedback from other people about Aum, I would not have taken part in making the (nerve gas) dispersal device,” said Fujinaga.

Fujinaga, on trial himself for his alleged participation in the attack, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in connection with the Matsumoto incident in high court rulings; he is appealing to a higher court.

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