Asahara's wife says AUM must reflect on crimes


November 8, 1999

TOKYO, Nov. 8, 1999 (Kyodo) -- The wife of AUM Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara says in a letter to a monthly magazine to be published Tuesday that the cult "should make efforts to restart itself after reflecting on its past and settling it," the magazine's spokesman said Monday.

Asahara's real name is Chizuo Matsumoto.

Tomoko Matsumoto sent the letter to the readers' section of Tsukuru magazine after the Tokyo High Court on Sept. 9 sentenced her to six years in prison for murdering a dissident member of AUM in 1994, the Tsukuru spokesman said. The wife is making an appeal.

In the letter, Matsumoto, 41, said, "The religious group has been tied to its past in the worst manner. The group refuses to admit what have become objective facts and is not able to apologize for crimes it has committed."

"We bear responsibility for several serious incidents that occurred in our time. Children and followers who knew nothing are victim of our times. But they are neither criminals nor dangerous figures, nor are they murderers," the letter says.


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