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Japanese death row inmates are executed by hanging.

Six other cultists remain on death row for the Tokyo subway attack. Some of those transferred were not among the seven hanged Friday.

Asahara, who was blind in one eye, claimed to have developed Jedi-like magic powers, including the ability to see the future, and even visit it occasionally through time travel.

Since an effective moratorium ended in 2010, Japan has executed as many as eight people a year. "However, the death penalty is never the answer", said Hiroka Shoji, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.

"The agony and grief suffered by those whose lives were taken and their family members, as well as people who became disabled [as a result of the crimes committed by the cult] must be unimaginable", Kamikawa said.

Asahara created Aum Shinrikyo in 1984.

He was the leader of the 40,000-strong Aum Shinrikyo cult, which sneaked plastic bags full of sarin nerve gas onto packed subway cars and burst them during the Monday morning rush hour.

The cult also carried out other crimes that together with the subway attack killed 27 people in total.

Shoko Asahara, leader of the cult group Aum Shinrikyo, sits on a throne in the middle of the stage during a meeting with his followers in Moscow in 1994.

The investigation into the attack uncovered more doomsday preparations, weapons arsenals and multiple killings by Aum.

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Victims of AUM crimes and their families largely welcomed the move, which came decades after the crimes were committed due to prolonged trials.

Japan's justice minister, who approved the hangings, said she doesn't take executions lightly but felt they were justified in this case because of the unprecedentedly seriousness of the crimes.

"When I heard the news, I reacted calmly".

Earlier in the day, Chaief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga would only confirm the execution of Asahara and said Japanese police were taking every measure to prevent retaliation following the execution.

Naturally, both Japanese and worldwide opponents of the death penalty protested this week's executions, while other Japanese say it took far too long to hang some of the most obvious monsters in their recent history.

In this March 20, 1995, file photo, the injured of the deadly gas attack are treated by rescuers near Tsukiji subway station in Tokyo.

Chizuo Matsumoto, better known as Shoko Asahara, the founder of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, was found guilty of the attack in 2004 and exhausted all of his appeals in 2006.

As authorities tried to dismantle the cult, 191 other Aum members were charged for a wide range of illegal acts, including murder, attempted murder, abduction and the production of deadly nerve gases and illegal automatic rifles.

He was also convicted of the murders of lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto, who had been helping parents seeking to free their children of the cult's control, and his wife and their 1-year-old son in November 1989.


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