The fourth daughter of executed Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, who was reportedly designated by the former guru to receive his remains, wants his ashes to be scattered in the Pacific, her lawyer said Wednesday.
“(Asahara’s) ashes bear grave importance to followers” of Aleph, the successor to the doomsday cult, said lawyer Taro Takimoto. The 29-year-old daughter and Takimoto have agreed it is best for his ashes to be scattered in the ocean so Aleph followers cannot create any “holy land,” he said.
At a news conference in Tokyo, the lawyer asked for the government to support the fourth daughter in the process, protecting her from possible attacks from the followers or any attempts to steal the ashes.
The 63-year-old Asahara was executed Friday along with six former senior cult members for crimes including the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack.
Asahara’s body was cremated Monday and his ashes have been stored in the Tokyo Detention House where he was executed.
Sources familiar with the matter have said Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, named his fourth daughter as the one to receive his remains when a detention center official asked immediately before his execution.
However, Asahara’s 59-year-old wife and some of his other children, including his third daughter aged 35, want the remains and submitted a written request dated Saturday to Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
Due to the family rift over who will gain control of Asahara’s ashes, the ashes are expected to be kept at the detention house for the time being, sources said.