Final police tally confirms 6,583 fell victim to 8 Aum-related crimes

Japan Today/December 21, 2010

Tokyo - The National Police Agency said Monday it has confirmed that a total of 6,583 people fell victim to the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system and seven other crimes committed by the Aum Shinrikyo cult, as it closed Friday accepting their applications for government relief.

Of the total, 6,084 victims or bereaved relatives, or 92 percent, have filed for compensation with the central government under the law enacted in June 2008 to enable the state to pay damages to them on behalf of the bankrupt cult organization, now known as Aleph.

A total of 424 people declined police suggestion for filing compensation requests, saying they do not want to think about the crimes, while the police have failed to get in touch with the remaining 75 people.

The government has already paid 2,806 million yen in compensation to 5,857 people, according to the agency.

Under the law, the bereaved families of those who died in one of the eight cases can receive 20 million yen, while those who were injured can receive 100,000 yen to 30 million yen.

Of the 6,583 people, 6,286 were the victims of the Tokyo sarin attack that took place in March 1995.

It means that the agency has newly found 1,000 or more victims and urged them to file applications for the relief as the number of victims from the incident was believed to be ‘‘more than 5,000'' shortly after the incident.

The agency found out about potentially eligible victims from their investigative reports and documents related to workers' compensation, and suggested they apply for the benefits, it said.

The eight crimes include also the 1994 sarin attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, and the 1989 murder of anti-Aum lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family.

Since Aum was declared bankrupt in 1996, it has only been able to pay about 1.52 billion yen, or about 40% of the full amount of compensation of 3.8 billion yen that should be paid to the victims of Aum-related incidents.

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