1995 Sarin Attack Survivor Asakawa Dies

Nippon.com/March 19, 2020

Tokyo -- Sachiko Asakawa, a paralyzed survivor of the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, has died, her brother Kazuo said Thursday. She was 56.

Asakawa died of hypoxic encephalopathy stemming from sarin poisoning March 10. She had been confined to bed as she suffered serious brain damage due to the simultaneous nerve gas attack by the now-defunct Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult. The attack marks its 25th anniversary Friday.

"It must have been a really hard time for Sachiko," Kazuo, 60, said at a press conference. "I want to tell her that she did her best."

On March 20, 1995, five senior Aum members dispersed the highly toxic nerve gas on trains on the Hibiya, Marunouchi and Chiyoda lines at the order of the cult's former guru Chizuo Matsumoto, injuring over 6,000 people, including Asakawa, and killing 13.

Matsumoto, who went by the name of Shoko Asahara, was executed in 2018.

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