- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 2, 2001

A state government in Japan is donating $65,000 to build a memorial in Honolulu to honor the nine persons killed earlier this year when a Japanese fishing vessel was accidentally rammed by a U.S. nuclear submarine off the coast of Diamond Head.
The 144-square-foot memorial to the victims of the Feb. 9 collision between the Ehime Maru and the USS Greenville will be built on waterfront park property owned by the state of Hawaii, Brenda Lei Foster, an executive assistant to Gov. Benjamin J. Cayetano, said in a telephone interview.
"This will be a very beautiful memorial that will be at the vortex of where the accident occurred and where the ship was sunk after recovery efforts were completed," Ms. Foster said.
Funding for the monument is being provided by the Japanese prefecture, or state, Ehime. That prefecture contains the town of Uwajima, which was home to the five adults and four teen-agers killed when the trawler sank in the Pacific Ocean in 2,000 feet of water after being struck by the Greenville during an emergency rapid surfacing drill.
Six of the nine victims were students or instructors at the Uwajima Fisheries High School, who were learning or teaching commercial fishing at the time of the accident. The school sought the memorial, said Sharon Ishii, executive assistant to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris.
Twenty-six students and crew members aboard the Ehime Maru were rescued from the ocean.
The Navy concluded the Greenville's captain, Cmdr. Scott D. Waddle, rushed the emergency surfacing drill, which he was demonstrating to a group of 16 civilian guests. He was formally reprimanded, ending his career.
Last summer, the Navy raised the crippled trawler and recovered eight bodies that had been entombed within.
Ms. Foster said the memorial to be built in the Kakaako Waterfront Park will feature "nine granite blocks that represent the nine lost souls" and a 6-foot anchor retrieved from the sunken ship. The anchor will be draped with a nine-link chain, with the name of each victim on one of the links.
Ms. Ishii said the memorial was designed by an alumnus of the Uwajima Fisheries High School and is being built in Japan.
Both she and Ms. Foster said everything possible is being done for the memorial to be in place for a ceremony on the first anniversary of the fatal collision.
Adm. Henry McKinney, president of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation and a former Pacific fleet submarine commander for the Navy, said yesterday he believes the memorial is "an appropriate thing to do" to "bring closure to the families" of victims of this "really tragic incident."
Both he and Adm. Thomas F. Hall, executive director of Naval Reserve Association, said they have not received any complaints about the Japanese memorial from veterans of World War II or other wars.
"Our focus has been on reservists being mobilized for Afghanistan," said Adm. Hall.
Steve Thomas, spokesman for the American Legion, said his organization has no position on the memorial and had no other comment.
Retired Col. Les Ihara, who is active in the Retired Officers Association in Hawaii, says he has heard no veterans complain about the memorial. Col. Ihara, a Japanese-American, says he finds the memorial "very appropriate."
"Hawaii is a place where a lot of Japanese nationals come to visit. They feel the United States was responsible [for the sinking of the Ehime Maru], and they are right," the Army colonel said.
He says people of Japanese ancestry account for about a quarter of Hawaii's total population.
Lt. Pauline Storum, a Navy spokeswoman, said family members of Ehime Maru victims have until Feb. 10, 2003, to file claims for damages
"Some claims have been filed. But we're not releasing any information at this time. We also got a claim from the prefecture," she said.

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