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.

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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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!

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

JASH Chair and President Visit Japan to Promote Existing Ties

JASH "delegation" to Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, with members of Nagaoka Festival Committee at the welcome party

JASH “delegation” to Nagaoka Fireworks Festival, with members of Nagaoka Festival Committee at the welcome party

In August, JASH Chair Sharon Weiner and JASH President Ed Hawkins visited both Nagaoka City in Niigata Prefecture and Uwajima City and Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture to promote sister city and sister state ties between Hawaii and Japan. The visits were in keeping with JASH’s mission of promoting understanding and friendship between the peoples of U.S. and Japan through the special and unique perspective of Hawaii. The visit to Nagaoka City was at the invitation of its Committee for Developing a Bridge of Friendship between Japan and USA to view its world-famous fireworks festival, and the excursion to Ehime was at the invitation of Uwajima City to attend its first Hawaiian Festival. This trip was supported by Ms. Weiner and DFS Hawaii. Read More

JASH Plans Future of Educational Exchange with Ehime

JASH President Hawkins with Ehime visitors and UHCJS staff: (L-R) Ed Hawkins, Ryotaro Yano (Ehime International Affairs Division), Jun Morimoto (Director, EPIC), Gay Satsuma (Associate Director, UHCJS), Bob Huey (Director, UHCJS), Noriko Omori (Manager, EPIC)

JASH President Hawkins with Ehime visitors and UHCJS staff: (R-L) Ed Hawkins, Ryotaro Yano (Ehime International Affairs Division), Jun Morimoto (Director, EPIC), Gay Satsuma (Associate Director, UHCJS), Bob Huey (Director, UHCJS), Noriko Omori (Manager, EPIC)

The year 2013 will mark the tenth anniversary of the start of educational exchange programs between Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii, goodwill measures put in place following the tragic accident between a high school training ship and a U.S. Navy submarine in waters off Honolulu that resulted in the loss of nine Japanese crewmembers, including four students. Two officials from Ehime Prefectural International Center (EPIC; administrator of the program) and one from the Ehime Government office visited Honolulu recently to discuss how to structure future educational exchange programs. Read More

Japan’s Prime Minister Noda visits Ehime Maru Memorial

JASH and EMMA President Ed Hawkins greets PM Noda on arrival at Kakaako

On November 12th, Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda visited the Ehime Maru Memorial at Kakaako Waterfront Park. PM Noda was in Hawaii for the APEC Leaders’ Meeting and took the opportunity to visit the Memorial. On hand were volunteers from local Kenjinkai who clean the memorial, including Fukuoka, Fukushima, Kumamoto, Yamaguchi, and Okinawa. Read More

Tenth Anniversary of Ehime Maru Accident Remembered

Bereaved family members offer lei at the memorial

Bereaved family members offer lei at the memorial

On February 9, 2011, over 200 people gathered at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park in Honolulu to mark the tenth anniversary of the tragic accident in 2001 that resulted in the loss of nine crewmembers, including four students, aboard the Uwajima Fishery High School training ship Ehime Maru. Read More