$11.47-million Ehime
compensation pact signed

Associated Press

TOKYO >> A local government signed an agreement with the U.S. Navy today to receive compensation for last year's sinking of the fisheries training boat Ehime Maru by a U.S. submarine off Hawaii.

The signing at the U.S. Embassy, which occurred before a consular official who is also a notary, was necessary before the $11.47 million can be transferred, said a U.S. Embassy official speaking on condition of anonymity.

Signing for the Ehime prefectural (state) government was Vice Gov. Nobuyoshi Yano.

The Navy had already signed it, the embassy official and the Navy said.

Nine of 35 Uwajima Fisheries High School students, teachers and crew aboard the Ehime Maru died when the nuclear-powered USS Greeneville surfaced beneath the fishing trawler on Feb. 9, 2001, nine miles off Diamond Head.

The school is in the Ehime city of Uwajima, about 420 miles southwest of Tokyo.

The total compensation includes money for the loss of the ship and equipment as well as covering mental-health care for survivors, the embassy official said.

It does not include compensation covering the nine who died. Talks for that are being conducted separately with the Navy.

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