Sources say the leader of a doomsday cult that carried out the deadly subway attack in Tokyo in 1995 has been executed.
Shoko Asahara whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto had been on death row for more than a decade after being convicted of murder and other crimes.
Matsumoto was 63 years old.He founded what was to later become known as Aum Shinrikyo around 1984.
Matsumoto urged his followers to prepare for the end of the world.
The cult released sarin gas on the Tokyo subway system in March 1995 killing 13 people and injuring more than 6000.
Matsumoto was found two months later in a hidden room inside a cult facility.
Matsumoto insisted he did not instruct his followers to carry out the attacks. But during his 2004 sentencing the Tokyo District Court said he deserved ultimate condemnation as the mastermind. His death sentence was finalized in 2006.
Criminal trials of Aum Shinrikyo members dragged through Japanese courts for more than 20 years. Almost 200 people were indicted. 13 were sentenced to death.
A court-appointed psychiatrist who met Matsumoto in 2006 reported he maintained relative silence and needed support for bathing and other activities.
Sources say that for the past several years, Matsumoto refused to meet his family members or lawyers.