Sarin gas attack survivors hold memorial walk

Nearly 50 survivors of the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system will take part in a memorial walk on March 19, one day before the 10th anniversary of the deadly attack carried out by the AUM Shinrikyo cult, a support group said Wednesday.

The walk, which will take participants between stations affected by the attack, is one of a number of events planned to mark one decade since the incident and is intended to issue a renewed wake-up call to the government to heed the survivors’ plight, the Recovery Support Center said.

Many are still suffering physical, psychological and economic repercussions, it added.

Yogo Isogai, who heads the center’s secretariat, said survivors will be joined by family members, medical and support staff and volunteers during the walk, which it is designed to have a therapeutic effect.

The center, based in Tokyo, offers free annual medical checkups for sarin survivors.

After the memorial walk in the morning, victims and supporters will hold an assembly to discuss the current situation of sarin survivors, and invite family members from the United States affected by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, to talk about their experiences, said Shizue Takahashi, who represents a group of the victims.

“Ten years on and the victims of the sarin gas attack have for the most part been neglected by the government. This is so different from what has happened with survivors and bereaved relatives of the Sept. 11 attacks,” said Takahashi, who lost her husband in the Tokyo subway attack.

The sarin attack occurred on March 20, 1995, killing 12 people and sickening more than 5,500.

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Kyodo News Service, Japan
Mar. 9, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday March 9, 2005.
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