July 12, 2018
Tokyo- Executed Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara's fourth daughter plans to scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean, her lawyer, Taro Takimoto, said Wednesday.
The doomsday cult's guru, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, said before his execution that she was the one who should take over his remains, although she has already cut off ties with the cult and even with him and her mother, who also was a senior Aum member, according to informed sources.
Since 2011, the daughter's side has called for the handover of the remains of Matsumoto after he was executed to prevent existing Aum members from obtaining and using them to promote the cult, Takimoto told a press conference in Tokyo.
The execution of the 63-year-old convicted mass murderer was carried out at the Tokyo Detention House on Friday. Six other former Aum members were also hanged the same day.
Matsumoto's body was cremated on Monday. The Justice Ministry has kept his remains at the detention center at the request of the daughter, who fears a possible assault by a group of his followers.
Five other relatives of Matsumoto, including his third daughter, have jointly demanded that the ministry hand over the remains to his wife, according to the sources.
At the news conference, Takimoto said he has just asked the government to guard the fourth daughter.
The lawyer also said he and the daughter decided to scatter the ashes at sea for fear of a grave with the remains becoming a holy place for the followers.
"It's too dangerous for me and the daughter alone to do this job," Takimoto stressed. "Please help us."
Matsumoto was convicted of directing a number of deadly crimes committed by the cult, including the sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subway system in March 1995 that killed 13 people and left nearly 6,000 others injured. Jiji Press
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