20 Years After the Aum Subway Attack

aum picture


5:30-7:00 pm , March 18 th,

2015, John Casken Theatre, Martin Harris Centre, The University of Manchester.

March 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Aum Affair, when members of the religious group Aum Shinrikyō released sarin poison gas in Tokyo. The affair had huge repercussions in legal, social, political and cultural terms in Japan and beyond as authorities sought to balance the liberal democratic freedoms with demands for heightened control of potentially “dangerous” groups.

This round-table brings together leading experts on the Aum Affair to discuss the incident and its aftermath, examining such topics as how to strike a balance between religious and political freedom and social safety; what are appropriate legal and social responses to terrorism; how best to commemorate and remember acts of violence; and what wider lessons can be learned from the Japanese experience.


This roundtable takes place as a collaboration and with funding support from the BICC and the White Rose East Asia Centre.



Tatsuya Mori (Documentary filmmaker, TV director and author),

Mark Mullins (Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Auckland),

Mark Pendleton (Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Sheffield),

Ian Reader (Professor of Religious Studies, Lancaster University)

Erica Baffelli (Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Manchester).