• jiji


Bereaved relatives of victims of the March 1995 sarin nerve gas attack in Tokyo’s subway system expressed their unabated sorrow on Saturday, the 26th anniversary of the killings carried out by by the now-defunct Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult.

A ceremony was held at Tokyo Metro Co.’s Kasumigaseki Station in Chiyoda Ward to remember the indiscriminate attack that claimed 14 lives and injured more than 6,000 people.

Kazumasa Takahashi, 50, deputy head of the station, and Tsuneo Hishinuma, 51, deputy head of the Yoyogi train management facility, died in the attack.

“I feel exactly the same way as I did 26 years ago,” said Shizue Takahashi, the 74-year-old widow of Kazumasa Takahashi. “My sadness will never fade.”

During the morning rush hour on March 20, 1995, members of Aum Shinrikyo released sarin on trains of the Hibiya, Marunouchi and Chiyoda lines of the Teito Rapid Transit Authority, now Tokyo Metro. Kasumigaseki Station serves all three lines.

Around 8 a.m. Saturday, 13 Tokyo Metro employees who work at Kasumigaseki Station offered silent prayers. Yoshiharu Ogawa, a 57-year-old senior official at the station, offered flowers for the victims.

Shizue Takahashi visited the station at 10 a.m. to offer flowers. “I asked my husband to emotionally support me as I’m getting older and losing energy,” she said.

In July 2018, Chizuo Matsumoto, the former leader of Aum Shinrikyo who went by the name Shoko Asahara, and 12 other members of the cult were executed for the subway attack and other crimes committed by the group.

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