Executed Ex-Aum Member Was Thankful for Being Kept Alive

Society

Tokyo, July 27 (Jiji Press)--Yasuo Hayashi, a former senior Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult member executed Thursday, told his lawyer two weeks ago that he was thankful for being kept alive, the attorney has said.

One of the Aum members who released sarin toxic gas in the March 1995 Tokyo subway attack, Hayashi, 60, maintained feelings of remorse toward the victims of the deadly terrorist assault and their bereaved families, said the lawyer, Hideyasu Yoshida.

After Aum guru Shoko Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, and six other members of the cult on death row were hanged on July 6, Hayashi sent a letter to Yoshida from the Sendai Detention House in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, where he had been held.

Hayashi seemed to have been prepared to be executed the following week, saying in the letter, mailed on July 8, a Sunday, "I'm afraid I will be no longer alive around the time when this letter is delivered to you," according to the lawyer.

The lawyer and Hayashi had their last meeting at the detention center on July 13. Hayashi appeared smiling at an interview room at the facility, after taking a bath.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press