The Yokohama family court granted a request by a daughter of Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara to nullify her parents’ right to inherit her property in the event of her death.
Death row inmate Asahara’s fourth daughter, 28, filed the request with the court in an attempt to sever ties with her father, 62, and mother, 59, both senior members of the cult that carried out the deadly 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack.
“I now live away from the cult and have not contacted my family or former (cult) members,” the woman, who requested her name be withheld, told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, was convicted of masterminding the terror attack that left 13 people dead and injured over 6,000, in addition to other crimes.
The court accepted that the woman was abused by her parents. It also considered the circumstances she faced after their arrest, which involved her suffering bullying and having school applications rejected.
She has faced “critical disadvantages such as living in an unstable environment and receiving insufficient education,” the court said, noting that the issues continue to this day.
“I have never called him father … I want a system that allows people to cut ties with extremely problematic parents,” she said.
According to her lawyer, neither parent raised any opposition or argument to the motion filed by their daughter. Asahara did not even attend an inquiry at the Tokyo facility where he is being held.
“He did not come out of his cell when he was repeatedly notified of the meeting request, but he did not ignore instructions for exercise and bath time,” an official at the facility said, referring to Asahara’s recent behavior.