Victims Mourned 20 Years after Ehime Maru Tragedy off Hawaii

Society

Uwajima, Ehime Pref., Feb. 10 (Jiji Press)--A ceremony was held Wednesday to mark the 20th anniversary of a fatal collision between the Japanese fishery high school training ship Ehime Maru and a U.S. nuclear submarine off Hawaii.

In front of a monument built at the high school in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, some 270 people, including bereaved family members and current students, offered silent prayers for the victims of the accident.

At 8:43 a.m. (11:43 p.m. Tuesday GMT), the exact time of the accident, a bell recovered from the Ehime Maru was rung nine times to remember the nine victims.

"Even though 20 years have passed, regret over the lost lives, as well as strong resentment and grief about the accident, cannot be healed," Seiji Takechi, principal of the high school, said, praying that such a tragedy will never happen again.

Shoken Fukumoto, 17, a second-year student at the high school, said that he did not know about the accident until he entered the school. "I want younger students of this school to continue holding the memorial ceremony," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press