Daughter of executed cult leader to collect remains

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — The fourth daughter of Chizuo Matsumoto, the founder and former leader of the Aum Supreme Truth cult, has shown her intention to collect the cremated remains of her father, who was executed last Friday.

Matsumoto, 63, who went by the name of Shoko Asahara, is believed to have designated his fourth daughter to receive his body after his execution.

“Although I was surprised, I have decided to accept his will as it is the last message from my father,” the daughter said in a statement released through a blog of her lawyer, Taro Takimoto, on Monday. She asked other relatives and members of the cult’s successor groups as well to accept his will.

The remains of Matsumoto will be kept at the Tokyo Detention House for the time being because the fourth daughter is concerned about the possibility of her being assaulted by his followers, informed sources said.

The fourth daughter is believed to have cut her ties with the successor groups and effectively severed her relationship with her parents.

Asked just before his execution who he would like to pick up his body, Matsumoto said, “My fourth daughter,” according to people familiar with the matter. Then, he mentioned her first name, they said. The Justice Ministry cremated his body on Monday morning.

Five other relatives, including Matsumoto’s third daughter, are demanding that his body be handed over to his wife, 59. “I suspect the story that the fourth daughter was named to pick up the body is a fabrication,” the third daughter said on her blog on Monday.

Matsumoto was convicted for his roles in a series of deadly crimes by the cult, including the March 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on Tokyo’s subway system that killed 13 people. His death sentence was finalized in September 2006.

Six of 12 other former senior Aum members on death row were also executed on Friday.Speech

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