TOKYO – Police in Japan were Monday quizzing a woman over the 1995nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subway that killed 13 people, leavingonly one person still wanted for one of the nation’s worst evermass-murders. Police said Naoko Kikuchi was being held on suspicion of murderafter being arrested late Sunday in the city of Sagamihara, west ofTokyo, with local media reporting that officers swooped after a tipoff. Kikuchi, 40, was one of only two remaining members of the AumSupreme Truth doomsday cult still at large, and was wanted forbeing part of the team responsible for producing the sarin nervegas used in the subway attack. “It is true that I was involved in producing sarin gas, but I didnot know what we were making at that time,” she was quoted astelling police. Kikuchi’s arrest leaves only one person, Katsuya Takahashi, 54,still at large on the police wanted list. Hitachi Diagnostic Tool
In the 17 years since the deadly attack, which injured thousandsand caused havoc throughout Tokyo, Kikuchi had lived under anassumed identity, telling neighbours she worked as an accountantfor a nursing care company, reports said. Kikuchi was quoted by Jiji as telling police: “I have lived asChizuko Sakurai, but I’m relieved that I don’t have to run awayanymore.” Police said she had been living with a 41-year-old man, who was notan Aum member and who stayed with her even after she revealed hertrue identity. He was also arrested early Monday accused ofharbouring a criminal. The 1995 subway attack was one of Japan’s worst mass-murders, inwhich Nazi-developed sarin was released onto several packedrush-hour trains. The coordinated attacks at stations near the centre of Japan’s seatof government sowed panic throughout Tokyo’s heaving metro system. Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Scanner
The Aum cult was also responsible for an attack on the city ofMatsumoto in central Japan the year earlier, when sarin – whichSaddam Hussein deployed against the Kurds in northern Iraq – killedeight people. As well as those who died, thousands more were injured, some ofthem seriously and permanently by inhaling or coming into contactwith the gas, which cripples the nervous system. The end of Kikuchi’s life on the run came just months after thesurrender of Makoto Hirata, 47, a former Aum member who gavehimself up to officers at a police station in central Tokyo minutesbefore midnight on New Year’s Eve. Aum guru Shoko Asahara preached a blend of Buddhist and Hindu dogmamixed with apocalyptic messages, and developed an obsession withsarin gas, becoming paranoid that his enemies would attack him withit. According to prosecutors the cult wanted to disrupt police moves tocrack down on them and at the same time enact Asahara’s vision ofan apocalyptic war. DVB Remote Control
Asahara was arrested at a commune near Mount Fuji two months afterthe attack on Tokyo and sentenced to hang, having been convicted ofcrimes resulting in multiple deaths. He remains on death row. The guru used a mix of charisma, mysticism and raw power to commitone of Japan’s most shocking crimes with his disciples, whoincluded doctors and engineers educated at elite Japaneseinstitutions.