Victims of sarin gas attack in Matsumoto City remembered 30 years on

Thursday marks 30 years since the Aum Shinrikyo cult carried out a deadly sarin gas attack in a residential area of Matsumoto City in central Japan.

The cult's former leader Asahara Shoko, whose real name was Matsumoto Chizuo, ordered the attack. Eight people were killed and at least 140 others were harmed by the toxic nerve gas.

People remembered the victims on the 30th anniversary at a park on the site of the incident. Many of them brought flowers.

A woman in her 50s came to offer prayers for a man who was her work supervisor. He died in a dormitory where the park now stands. She said it had been too painful for her to visit the place where he died, but she was finally able to come here after three decades.

A man in his 50s who lived in the neighborhood at the time said he often walked by the area. He said he hopes nothing like that will ever happen again.

A man in his 90s who lives nearby said religion is supposed to help people but it caused a tragedy. He said he can only pray for the repose of the victims' souls.

People can leave flowers at a stand in the park through Friday.