By NORIHITO SATO, The Asahi Shimbun
Asahi News (Japan), July 19, 2002
Yoshiyuki Kono knows what it’s like to be on the wrong side of the law, unjustly accused.
Kono grabbed national headlines in 1994 when police treated him as a suspect in the sarin nerve gas attack in his hometown of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, that left seven people dead and sickened 600.
It was a horrific experience. Kono, 52, knew he was innocent, but he was pilloried by the media. His wife Sumiko, 54, remains in a coma to this day after inhaling sarin fumes.
Kono said he survived the experience by giving lectures explaining his ordeal. He would give 50 a year, and says now, “I scarcely have any time left over for myself.”
But life has turned full circle. He was appointed to Nagano Prefecture’s Public Safety Commission on July 4 to help monitor the activities of his former accusers.