Victims of deadly gas attack on Tokyo subway system remembered 29 years on

Victims of the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system were remembered on the 29th anniversary of the deadly incident on Wednesday.

On March 20, 1995, members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released the toxic nerve gas inside packed rush hour subway cars on three lines in central Tokyo. Fourteen people died and about 6,300 others were injured.

At Kasumigaseki subway station, staff observed a moment of silence at around 8 a.m., almost the exact time when the attack occurred.

Bereaved families, people affected by the incident and subway passengers placed flowers on a stand inside the station and offered their prayers.

Takahashi Shizue, whose husband was an assistant stationmaster at Kasumigaseki and killed in the attack, said the incident is not yet over for relatives and those affected, despite the passage of nearly 30 years. She noted that successor groups of Aum Shinrikyo are continuing their activities.

Takahashi said younger generations now have little knowledge of the incident. She said she believes it is the responsibility of her and other survivors to keep the memories alive. She said she conveyed the pledge to the deceased.

Aum Shinrikyo's former leader, Asahara Shoko, whose real name was Matsumoto Chizuo, and 12 others were executed in 2018 for a series of crimes perpetrated by the cult.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency says several successor groups remain active. It says a group known as Aleph is recruiting young people while concealing its name.