On Thursday, February 9, Ehime Maru Memorial Association (EMMA) — with dignitaries from Japan and Hawaii – held a memorial ceremony at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park. The afternoon ceremony highlighted the gratitude and friendship that grew between Hawaii and Japan in the years following the 2001 collision of the submarine USS Greeneville and Japanese Uwajima Fisheries High School training ship Ehime Maru – a tragedy that claimed the lives of four students, two teachers, and three crew members.
“This year is the significant Jyuunanakaiki, or 17th anniversary memorial, in the Buddhist tradition,” said event Co-Chair Kenneth Saiki. “Because the next major anniversary memorial is not until the 33rd year, the bereaved families wish to now thank those who helped them during their period of distress when the accident occurred.”
Families of bereaved families and guests pay their respects at the Ehime Maru Memorial
Ehime Prefecture Governor Tokihiro Nakamura and Hawaii Governor David Ige recognized the friendship between Hawaii and Ehime that was forged in the tragedy’s aftermath. This friendship includes sister-city and sister-state relationships, and youth and college cultural exchange programs.