Families Still in Grief 26 Yrs after Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack


Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--Bereaved relatives of victims of the March 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system by the now-defunct Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult expressed their unabated sorrow on Saturday, which marked the 26th anniversary of the incident.

The indiscriminate attack claimed 14 lives and left more than 6,000 people injured. A mourning ceremony was held at Tokyo Metro Co.'s Kasumigaseki Station in Chiyoda Ward in the Japanese capital. At the station, Kazumasa Takahashi, 50, then deputy head of the station, and Tsuneo Hishinuma, 51, then deputy head of the Yoyogi train management facility, died in the attack.

"I feel exactly the same way as I did 26 years ago," said Shizue Takahashi, the 74-year-old widow of Kazumasa. "My sadness will never fade," she added.

During the morning rush hour on March 20, 1995, members of Aum Shinrikyo released sarin on trains of the Hibiya, Marunouchi and Chiyoda lines of the then Teito Rapid Transit Authority, now Tokyo Metro. Kasumigaseki Station serves all of the three lines.

Around 8 a.m. Saturday (11 p.m. Friday GMT), 13 Tokyo Metro employees of Kasumigaseki Station offered silent prayers. Yoshiharu Ogawa, a 57-year-old senior official at the station, offered flowers to the victims.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press