Ehime Maru 17th Year Memorial Ceremony on February 9 Highlighted Enduring Hawaii-Japan Friendship Born from Tragedy

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.

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Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Ehime Maru Memorial

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Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park on December 26, 2016 during his visit to Honolulu. Prime Minister Abe was welcomed by Sal Miwa (JASH Chair) and Blair M.T. Odo (JASH and Ehime Maru Memorial Association (EMMA) Interim President), along with Earl Okawa (JASH President Emeritus) and Kenneth Saiki (EMMA Director).

“Prime Minister Abe commented how he was Cabinet Secretary at the time of the accident, and remembers well the subsequent events with sadness,” said Interim President Odo.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, lays a wreath at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. The memorial is dedicated to the victims of a 2001 collision off the coast of Hawaii between the Ehime Maru, a fisheries training vessel, and a U.S. naval submarine. Several were killed, including four high school students, in the accidental collision. Shinzo Abe arrived in Hawaii on Monday to recognize the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, lays a wreath at the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016, in Honolulu. The memorial is dedicated to the victims of a 2001 collision off the coast of Hawaii between the Ehime Maru, a fisheries training vessel, and a U.S. naval submarine. Several were killed, including four high school students, in the accidental collision. Shinzo Abe arrived in Hawaii on Monday to recognize the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

JASH provides liaison and administrative services for EMMA. The Memorial honors the nine crew members of the Japanese fishery high school training ship Ehime Maru who lost their lives on February 9, 2001, when the tragic accident with the submarine occurred. Since then, both EMMA and JASH have facilitated various cultural and educational exchange programs to heal and strengthen relations between Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii.

Later in the evening, a reception was held for the Prime Minister at the Hawaii Convention Center, with JASH — along with other Japan-related organizations in Hawaii — playing a key planning role.

EPIC Interns Share the Aloha Spirit in Ehime

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2016 EPIC Interns Jake Yasumori and Yu Sasaki enjoying their time with students at Uwajima Fisheries High School.

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Jake sharing a hug with a student at Uwajima Fisheries High School.

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Yu sharing a hug with a student at Uwajima Fisheries High School.

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Jake and Yu exchange omiyage with Ehime Governor Tokihiro Nakamura.

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Jake and Yu pay their respects at the Ehime Maru Memorial.

 

 

Ehime Maru Memorial Day Ceremony

On Saturday, May 28, 2016, JASH President Lenny Yajima attended a Shinto Memorial Day ceremony by Reverend Yano for Ehime Maru and ocean safety.

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Rear Admiral Patrick Piercey and family along with Ehime Kenjinkai members.

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EPIC Interns Jake and Yu Arrive Safely in Ehime

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Yu Sasaki and Jake Yasumori, the 2016 students selected for the EPIC Summer Internship, have arrived safely in Ehime. Both students are committed to building the Ehime-Hawaii relationship through their efforts in the internship program.

Chizu Takeuchi Visits JASH Office

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Chizu Takeuchi is here in Hawaii representing Ehime Prefectural Government at the Hiroshima and Shikoku fair at Marukai through Sunday, May 22. Mahalo Chizu for sharing delicious strawberry omiyage from Ehime with us!

EPIC Interns Jake and Yu Visit Ehime Maru Memorial

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Jake Yasumori and Yu Sasaki will be spending the summer at Ehime Prefectural International Center 公益財団法人愛媛県国際交流協会 (EPIC), in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, under the guidance of manager Noriko Omori. The internship is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the interns to immerse themselves in Japanese culture, Ehime-style, with great attention to “omotenashi ” or first class hospitality. They will also share vibrant Hawaiian culture with students in their classrooms, and visitors to the center. Congratulations to Jake and Yu for being selected as ambassadors of goodwill from Hawaii to Japan through EPIC, the UH Manoa Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and JASH.

Ehime Maru Memorial Visit by EPIC-bound Interns

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The two University of Hawaii students selected as Ehime Prefecture Interns for 2015 visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu prior to departing for Ehime to begin their three-month summer internship. Ms. Ashley Nakaoka, undergraduate Japanese language and Biology major, and Mr. Tabo Nagase, undergraduate Hawaiian language major accompanied UH Center for Japanese Studies Director Dr. Mary McDonald, Assistant Director Dr. Gay Satsuma, and EMMA President Lenny Yajima who explained the Ehime Maru incident of 2001, the significance of the memorial, and why their upcoming internship in Ehime was directly tied to these events. They learned that this internship, which is fully paid and sponsored by Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC), was one of several good-will measures established soon after the tragic Ehime Maru accident to promote future understanding and good relations between the people of Ehime and Hawaii. Former EPIC Interns Mathew Manako Tanaka and Rochelle Ohata also attended to share their experiences.

Japan’s Defense Minister Visits Ehime Maru Memorial

Japan’s Defense Minister Onodera greets volunteers who clean the memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park

Japan’s Minister of Defense Honorable Itsunori Onodera visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu on July 1st. Minister Onodera was in Hawaii for discussions with the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command. Read More