Officials: Doomsday cult member surrenders to police in Japan
January 2, 2012 -- Updated 1038 GMT (1838 HKT)
Makoto Hirata (C) a former senior member of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult was arrested after almost 17 years on the run.
- Makoto Hirata has been on the run since 1995, authorities say
- Hirata is described as a former senior member of Aum Shinrikyo
- The group is behind the 1995 subway gas attack in Tokyo
Tokyo (CNN) -- A former member of a Japanese doomsday cult wanted for the murder of a notary official surrendered after nearly 17 years on the run, authorities said Sunday.
Makoto Hirata turned himself in late Saturday in Tokyo, according to a metropolitan police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity -- as is the practice among Japanese police.
Hirata is described as a former senior member of Aum Shinrikyo, or Cult of the Supreme Truth, the group behind the 1995 sarin gas attack on a Tokyo subway. The attack left more than a dozen people dead and thousands injured.
The cult now claims to be a benign religious group. At the height of its activities in the 1990s, it preached the world was coming to an end and that it must arm itself to prepare for various calamities.
A number of the cult's senior leaders were jailed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Hirata, 46, has been on the run since February 1995 when authorities say he and other members of the cult kidnapped a chief clerk in a Tokyo notary office.
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
February 8, 2013 -- Updated 0718 GMT (1518 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories