Tuesday, February 5, 2002

The Ehime Maru Memorial in Kakaako Park will be unveiled Saturday, a year after the tragedy in which 9 Japanese died.

Families of Ehime Maru
victims attend dedication

Kyodo News Service

MATSUYAMA, Japan >> About 200 people will mark the first anniversary Saturday in Honolulu of the collision off Hawaii between the Japanese fisheries training ship Ehime Maru and a U.S. Navy submarine in which nine Japanese died, the Ehime prefectural government said today.

The families of the nine victims in the Feb. 9 tragedy, as well as several students who survived the collision, will attend the ceremony at Kakaako Waterfront Park, in which a monument dedicated to the deceased will be unveiled, prefectural officials said.

Representing the bereaved family, Tatsuyoshi Mizuguchi, 49, will deliver a speech at the ceremony, the officials said. Among the nine victims, only the remains of Mizuguchi's son Takeshi were not recovered.

The 499-ton Ehime Maru of Uwajima Fisheries High School in western Japan's Ehime Prefecture was sunk by the 6,080-ton U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Greeneville as it was doing an emergency surfacing maneuver for the benefit of civilian visitors.

Four 17-year-old high school students, two of their teachers and three Ehime Maru crew members were killed.

After Ehime Gov. Moriyuki Kato offers letters of appreciation to Hawaii Gov. Benjamin Cayetano, who provided a site for the monument free of charge, and a young stonemasons' group in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, which completed the monument, the bereaved families will unveil the memorial stone.

The 4-meter square monument made of black granite was designed by Kyosuke Tamai, 59, a graduate of the high school. The names of the nine victims and a prayer for peace and safety at sea are engraved on it.

An anchor of the Ehime Maru raised from the sea by the U.S. Navy was attached to the monument, the officials said.

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