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Hanged ex-Aum member urged would-be terrorists to halt attacks

12 Comments

A former senior Aum Shinrikyo member wrote a letter in English urging would-be terrorists not to carry out their planned attacks before he was executed in 2018 for his involvement in the cult's 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

"I want 'future terrorists' to stop their attacks on their own will before they are called 'real ones,'" Tomomasa Nakagawa wrote while on death row, according to a copy of the letter made available to Kyodo News through his lawyer in early March.

"I'm very very sure that they will fall into deep despair if they see the result of their attack," says the letter, which has no date or title.

Nakagawa expressed remorse for the deadly sarin attack, saying, "I have gradually realized that our attack was extremely harmful to the victims and their families."

"Nothing good has happened after the Subway attack," wrote Nakagawa, who was involved in the manufacturing of the sarin gas.

He communicated to Kyodo News about the letter through the lawyer before he was hanged along with Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, and 11 other cult members for the subway attack and other crimes, including the murder of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family in 1989 and a sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in 1994.

Nakagawa, who served as Asahara's primary physician, also implored would-be terrorists to "imagine what will happen in the post-attack world while their living in the pre-attack world."

"What I have written here is too late for me," read the final words of the letter.

While on death row, Nakagawa had assisted in the composition of a report by Richard Danzig, a former secretary of the U.S. Navy who researched the Japanese cult's development of biochemical weapons such as sarin gas.

The letter had been meant for Danzig but had failed to reach him due to a slip-up, according to Nakagawa's lawyer.

Nakagawa had also regularly met with Anthony Tu, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University and toxicologist researching incidents involving the cult.

Danzig and Tu "conduct interviews with me in order to prevent future terrorism," Nakagawa said in the letter.

The Tokyo subway attack in March 1995, which targeted five train cars during the morning rush hour, left 14 people dead and more than 6,000 others injured.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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"I'm very very sure that they will fall into deep despair if they see the result of their attack," says the letter, which has no date or title.

Only said by someone who got caught! Seems to me that once a terrorist is successful, they dont stop!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

His time was up and he knew it. And most terrorists don't stop until someone stops them. He fought the law and the law won.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks, I guess?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He was no threat to anyone as long as he was incarcerated. The MOJ needs to learn the difference in justice and revenge, or else maybe change its name.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can people stop translating whatever verb they read in Japanese with “urge”? It’s not used that commonly in the English language and it’s pretty lame, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can people stop translating whatever verb they read in Japanese with “urge”? It’s not used that commonly in the English language and it’s pretty lame, too.

Not 100% sure what it is in this case, but often the verb is "要請 - yousei", and it is often used in Japan so translators have no option but to use it.

The word has been seen a lot in English news recently used by Abe, and other politicians, etc. when asking people to stay at home, etc. because (if I understand correctly), there was no law that allowed them to order it in an enforceable way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A reminder that not all religions are equal. Some are dangerous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, but Aum was not a religion. Wearing a white coat and a stethoscope doesn't make you a doctor.

(Invalid CSRF)X2

0 ( +0 / -0 )

expat:

He was no threat to anyone as long as he was incarcerated. The MOJ needs to learn the difference in justice and revenge....

Revenge is an important part of justice. Justice is a revenge. "An eye for an eye" is the code from our oldest human laws.

In Japan's case in Edo period, a permission for revenge (仇討ち) was legally obtained from the court by the victim's family members. One example is the case of famous "Koman (or Oman) of Seki" (関の小万). A wife of a murdered husband was determined to revenge her husband, who was killed by his samurai colleague. She journeyed a long way to find the samurai who killed her husband despite her pregnancy. But she died soon after giving a birth to a girl during the journey before she was able to revenge. The girl, Koman (or Oman), learned about her mother as she grew up and decided to carry out her mother's will. She learned sword fighting and at the age of 26, she successfully carried out the revenge by killing her father's murderer. It was in August 1783. She become widely known as a heroin.

http://www.aizuya72.com/koman.html

http://www4.airnet.ne.jp/sakura/blocks_menu/conjyaku_07/bushido/jinzaduka_2.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Revenge is an important part of justice. Justice is a revenge. "An eye for an eye" is the code from our oldest human laws.

And the Japanese also used to abandon their elderly in the woods to die when they became too old and samurai used to have the right to kill anyone who touched them, intentionally or otherwise. Appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy.

The problem with “revenge as justice” is that it creates a cycle, with both sides escalating their vendetta with each, new act of vengeance. One need only look to examples like the Hatfields and McCoys or the generation-spanning blood feuds in places like the Balkans. Would it be acceptable for relatives of the executed criminals to seek vengeance against the government? The problem with revenge is that it knows neither right or wrong, innocent or guilty. It is simply a knee-jerk tit for tat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not 100% sure what it is in this case, but often the verb is "要請 - yousei", and it is often used in Japan so translators have no option but to use it.

In the dictionaries I consulted, the possible interpretations are "appeal; call for something; request; claim; demand".

Not an 'urge' in there

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ReynardFox

Appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy.

Not at all. it is simply a historical FACT. The belief that justice is not a revenge, on the other hand, is a religious dogma. The current system of punishment is a continuation of a legalized revenge. That's why it is still very important in the legal process to review how victims family feel. That is nothing but a revenge.

The problem with “revenge as justice” is that it creates a cycle, 

That is absolutely false. The Edo code specifically prohibited any revenge against a legal revenge. It was illegal then and it is illegal today in every society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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