A fund initially set up mainly to compensate victims of nerve gas attacks attributed to Aum Shinrikyo will be utilized to cover medical checkups for monitoring victims’ health conditions, a lawyer and representative of the fund operators told a news conference Friday.

Victims in the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack in March 1995 and the 1994 gassing in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, will be eligible for free medical exams at St. Luke’s International Hospital, said lawyer Saburo Abe.

Abe also serves the administrator working on disposal of the cult’s assets.

St. Luke’s examined about 640 victims of the 1995 subway gas attack. “Many victims are still suffering from aftereffects of the nerve gas attack,” Abe said. “It is important that they see doctors familiar with its symptoms.”

He said the hospital plans to assign three doctors on certain dates to specially examine them. The checkups will probably be scheduled once a month, Abe said.

The fund was initially established in July to make up for the insufficient compensation the victims received in 1998 from the liquidation of the Aum’s assets.

To date, the fund has collected about 22 million yen from the public and Aum Shinrikyo members including senior cultists Ikuo Hayashi, 52, and Hisako Ishii, 38.

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