The fourth daughter of executed AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, who was reportedly designated by the former guru to receive his body, wants his ashes to be scattered in the Pacific, her lawyer said Wednesday.
"(Asahara's) ashes bear grave importance to followers" of Aleph, which succeeded the doomsday cult, said lawyer Taro Takimoto. The 29-year-old daughter and Takimoto have agreed it is best for his ashes to be scattered in the ocean so Aleph followers cannot create any "holy land," he said.
(Lawyer Taro Takimoto speaks at a press conference)
In a press conference in Tokyo, the lawyer asked for the government to support the fourth daughter in the process, protecting her from possible attacks from the followers or any attempts to steal the ashes.
The 63-year-old Asahara was executed Friday along with six former senior members of the cult for crimes including the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack.
Asahara's body was cremated Monday and his ashes have been stored in the Tokyo Detention House where he was executed.
Sources familiar with the matter have said Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, named his fourth daughter as the one to receive his body when a detention center official asked immediately before his execution.
However, Asahara's 59-year-old wife and some of his other children, including the 35-year-old third daughter, want the remains and they submitted a written request dated Saturday to Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa.
Due to the family rift over who will gain control of Asahara's ashes, the ashes are expected to be kept at the detention house for the time being, sources said.
(Shoko Asahara is transferred to the Metropolitan Police Department in September 1995)