Tokyo - Nearly 6,000 people, or about 91 percent, of eligible victims of the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes committed by the Aum Shinrikyo cult had applied for government relief under the law by the end of October, the National Police Agency said Thursday. Relief payments totaling 2.73 billion yen have so far been made to 5,784 of the 5,958 applicants, the agency said. The agency is stepping up raising public awareness about the relief law to reach out to about 610 people deemed still eligible to apply as the application period closes Dec 17.
The government has provided relief payments to the bereaved relatives of 25 people, 101 people who were disabled and 5,658 people who were injured in eight Aum cases, also including the 1994 sarin attack in Nagano Prefecture and the murder of a lawyer and his family in 1989. Relief payments vary between 100,000 and 30 million yen depending on the degree of damage suffered in a series of what the law defines as malicious and grave acts of terrorism.
The law took effect in December 2008, 13 years after law-enforcement authorities first took action against the cult group following the 1995 sarin gas attack.