crime

Sarin attack anniversary observed at Tokyo subway station

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The 14th anniversary of the Aum Shinrikyo cult's deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attacks was marked Friday in a ceremony at the Tokyo subway's Kasumigaseki Station. A moment of silence was observed by 24 Tokyo Metro Co employees at the station at 8 a.m., around the same time that the attacks occurred, with a metro official laying flowers at an alter set up in the station.

The official, Noboru Ueno, said during the ceremony, ''We cannot forget that day,'' pledging that subway workers will continue safety efforts to honor those lost in the incident. On March 20, 1995, senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, now known as Aleph, released sarin at five stations on three central Tokyo subway lines. The attacks took the lives of 12 people, including two subway workers at Kasumigaseki Station in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, and sickened more than 5,500 others.

Shizue Takahashi, the 62-year-old widow of one of the two workers at Kasumigaseki Station, visited the station and said, ''We should not allow the case to be forgotten and take place again. Although 14 years have passed, I would like to continue talking about the incident.''

© Sarin attack anniversary observed at Tokyo subway station

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This should have never happened in first place if the J police and their intelligence agencies were on top of the Matsumoto sarin incident.

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I remember it well - it was chilling. Having grown up in London where we were constantly worried about IRA bombs on trains, I never would have imagined such an event in Japan.

You just can't account for that hidden nutter factor...

The trouble is that everyone's so wrapped up in telling each other how safe the country is (which it is...), that the oddballs can just melt into the background...

In the UK there are knives and extremists, but no one does creepy weirdo like Japan.

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Such attacks could be prevented, in the future with Japanese people participating keeping their eyes open, and report if the see anything suspicious.

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Is anniversary the right thing to call this gathering? Would a commemoratory service be more suitable?

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i remember walking btwn shibuya and?...omotesando....and seeing these weird posters along a wall facing a roaring highway...all about some fat guy(who looked blind...from the photo) who claimed to be able to hold his breath for hours?....whatever, a long time....under water...and he could train you as well!!!! this was in '92 maybe...soooo it took a while to get the ball rolling...seemed absurd on the face of it...but hey the orient ...and all that. When the attack came @ Kasumigaseki?...my wife at the time...barely missed being in the station at the critical moment!...what does it say about japan?...not much, i suppose...a very complicated world...what!?

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I remember taking a holiday in Japan around 1990 and seeing fat boy (Asahara) and his elephant girls dancing out in front of Asagaya Station as part of their election campaign (yes he did try to become a politican). Me and a friend had a great time taking the pxss out of them.

It is interesting to note that Asahara and his flunkies have recently been throwing themselves on the mercy of the court (trying to avoid the noose). All you have to do is think back to this incident, what happened up in Matsumoto (and the bungling by the local plod), Asahara's kidnapping and murder of the lawyer's family (including a baby), etc., to realize that these folks need to pay the ultimate price.

Finally, anybody who thinks that this Sarin attack is over needs to know that in addition to those folks who were killed (including the station employee who picked up a bag of sarin and disposed of it - basically commiting suicide to save others), there are still a large number of people who are suffering the after effects of this terrorist act.

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and now we pay the price being photographed and fingerprinted as potential copycats. If it happens again, it will be 100% done by Japanese.

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