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Japan marks 13th nerve gas attacks anniv

Japan marked the 13th anniversary of the deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system on Thursday.

world Updated: Mar 20, 2008 18:15 IST
Kyodo

Japan marked the 13th anniversary of the deadly 1995 sarin nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system on Thursday, with subway workers and families of victims offering silent prayers and flowers at stations that were targeted.

A moment of silence was observed by 21 subway workers at Kasumigaseki Station at 8 am (local time), about the time the attacks occurred.

On March 20, 1995, top members of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, now known as Aleph, released sarin at five stations on three central Tokyo subway lines. The attack took the lives of 12 people, including two subway workers at Kasumigaseki Station, and left over 5,500 sickened.

"We feel anew how serious the attacks were and wish for an early resolution to the case," said station master Noboru Ueno, who laid flowers at a flower tribute stand to pray for the victims.

Shizue Takahashi, the widow of one of the two station workers who died, visited Kasumigaseki Station and laid flowers.

With lawmakers seeking to submit to the Diet a bill to offer consolation money to victims of the sarin gas attacks, "I marked the anniversary with a different feeling," Takahashi said.

"I hope the government will map out measures in a way to provide relief" for the victims and their families, she added.

Flower tribute stands were also set up at other targeted stations -- Kodemmacho, Hatchobori, Tsukiji and Kamiyacho -- on the Hibiya Line as well as Nakanosakaue Station on the Marunouchi Line.

Aleph extended its condolences to the victims and again apologised to their kin on the anniversary.