Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, December 24, 1998 Published at 02:15 GMT


World: Asia-Pacific

Japanese sect's nerve gas plant destroyed

"Dr Death", Ikuo Hayashi, was convicted for his part in the Tokyo attack

A nerve gas production plant, set up by the Japanese Aum Shinri Kyo (Supreme Truth) sect, has been destroyed, according to a United Nations chemical weapons team.

The cult was responsible for the gas attack on the Tokyo underground railway system four years ago, which killed 12 people and injured thousands more.

Scientists from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons went to Japan to inspect the facilities, which had been used in the manufacture of the deadly sarin gas.

Demolition

"We are happy to announce the destruction of this facility," the team's leader, Ichiro Akiyama, told a news conference at OPCW's headquarters in The Hague.

Demolition work of the plant and surrounding prefabricated buildings started last September.

Over 30 pieces of equipment, including reactors and containers, were cut into small pieces and crushed by a contractor hired by the Japanese government.

OPCW is the UN body that polices compliance with the Chemical Weapons Convention, which has been ratified by over 120 countries worldwide.

Terrorism

The subway attack - the worst act of terrorism in modern-day Japan - shocked a nation that had taken safety on the streets for granted.

The cult has also been implicated in other incidents including:

  • another nerve-gas attack in central Japan in 1994 which killed seven people;

  • in the deaths of several wayward followers;

  • the near-fatal shooting of Japan's top police official;

  • and the kidnapping and killing of an anti-cult lawyer and his family.

    More than 400 of the cult's 10,000 members in Japan were arrested and it was forced to disband. More than 100 members have been charged in connection with the subway gas attack.



    Advanced options | Search tips




    Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




  • Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



    Relevant Stories

    23 Oct 98 | Asia-Pacific
    Doomsday cultist sentenced to death

    26 May 98 | Asia-Pacific
    Life sentence for Japan's 'Dr Death'

    19 Apr 98 | Asia-Pacific
    Japanese cult founder in custody





    Internet Links


    University of Virginia religious movements

    Japan Times


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




    In this section

    Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

    DiCaprio film trial begins

    Millennium sect heads for the hills

    Uzbekistan voices security concerns

    From Business
    Chinese imports boost US trade gap

    ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

    Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

    Malaysian candidates named

    North Korea expels US 'spy'

    Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

    China warns US over Falun Gong

    Thais hand back Cambodian antiques