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Seven members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, which carried out the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, have been executed, Japanese officials said Friday.

His hanging Friday was the first execution of any of the 13 cult members on death row for the attack and other crimes. Six remain on death row after Friday's executions. Other members from bottom left to right, Yoshihiro Inoue, Tomomitsu Nimi, and Kiyohide Hayakawa.

Some Japanese expressed reservations about the death penalty, and others said no one will ever be able to make sense of what happened.

Asahara had been on death row for masterminding a deadly 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack and other crimes.

"The death system is very much criticized by the worldwide community, and there are still issues involving those seeking retrial or death sentences for those suspected to be mentally incompetent", Ogawara said. A string of crimes resulted in the deaths of 29 people.

Police leave an Aum Shinrikyo compound in the small village of Kamikuishiki at the foot of Mount Fuji on March 28, 1995.

The attack, one of Japan's worst terrorism incidents, killed 13 people and injured over 6,200.

Five Aum Shinrikyo members boarded subway cars on three different lines in central Tokyo during rush hour, carrying plastic bags filled with sarin. The attack, which failed, used a refrigerator truck to release the gas and a wind dispersed it in a residential neighbourhood, killing eight and injuring hundreds.

A woman in her 40s interviewed in front of a detention house in Osaka, where two former AUM executives were executed said, "There are fears about what the followers are going to do".

"The time has come".

Under intensifying scrutiny from the government, the cult plotted the larger sarin attack on the subways in Tokyo on March 20, 1995.

"A third of my life has been affected by AUM".

"With the execution, I feel that the opportunity to discover (why) has been lost", Moriyama said.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency on the same day inspected Aleph offices and other related sites nationwide.

In this 2015 photo, Tokyo subway workers offered silent prayer 20 years after the poison gas attack.

Asahara was born Chizuo Matsumoto in 1955 on the southwestern island of Kyushu and changed his name in the 1980s, when the Aum cult was being developed. The cult's activities in various parts of Japan sparked anxiety years after the sarin gas attack. The death sentence against him was finalized in 2006. However, ultimately, the death penalty was given to Shoko Asahara and others high in the chain of this organization.

The following are brief descriptions of three major acts of violence by the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult.

"I've been in pain for years", he told AFP.

The Public Security Intelligence Agency's analysis is that all three groups are still under the influence of Matsumoto and continue to have risky characteristics. The followers of the three groups total about 1,650 in Japan and about 460 in Russian Federation, while the groups hold more than 1 billion yen ($9 million) in assets, according to the agency.

Asahara, 63, a partially blind former yoga instructor, believed that the United States would attack Japan with nuclear weapons, and that only cult members would survive World War III.


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